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Eight students involved with WBTT programs have earned funds toward artistic education and training

SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is proud to announce it has, for the fourth consecutive year, awarded WBTT Artist Development scholarships to deserving students. Last year, eight up-and-coming artists were presented with $2,000 scholarships for studies in a college or conservatory program in the performing arts or arts management for the 2021-2022 academic year. This year, WBTT has again provided eight young, aspiring artists with scholarships of $2,000 each.

This year's recipients are: Ariana Fitzgerald, in her fourth year at Jacksonville University, receiving the scholarship in memory of Alan Kurland; Astrid McIntyre, in her second year at Southeastern University, receiving the Kitty and John Cranor Scholarship; Canela Vasquez, in her second year at State College of Florida, receiving the Marian Moss Scholarship; Charlotte Corporan, in her fourth year at Rollins College, receiving the Marie McKee and Robert Cole Scholarship; Jetta Strayhorn, in her second year at Harvard University, receiving the Jody and Bob Beresford Scholarship; Tay Marquise, in his fourth year at Pace University, receiving the Jack and Priscilla Schlegel Scholarship; and Todd Bellamy II, in his fourth year at Florida A&M University, and Zion Thompson, in his third year at  State College of Florida, receiving scholarships in memory of Shelley Goldblatt.

"While WBTT is dedicated to producing the finest dramatic and musical theatre, my dream and passion has always been to help young, aspiring artists to develop their talents and have the opportunity to achieve success," said Jacobs. "We are so grateful to the supporters who have made it possible for us to contribute financially to the arts education of these students and look forward to seeing the impact on their lives and careers in the years ahead."

To be eligible for a scholarship, a participant must have performed on the WBTT stage in at least two productions, worked at the theatre as an intern, and/or been a participant in the Stage of Discovery summer musical theatre intensive program. Funds are disbursed directly to the educational institution the awardee will be attending in the fall.

For more about WBTT, go to or call 941-366-1505.