Marisa Tufaro Memorial Arts Scholarship

Marisa Tufaro Memorial Arts Scholarship 2018-01-02T11:51:15+00:00

Applications for the second annual Marisa Tufaro Memorial Arts Scholarship are being accepted until February 1, 2018.

Students who are Middlesex County residents between the ages of 7 and 14 are eligible for the scholarship, which will afford two students the opportunity to attend a weeklong arts camp this summer at Rutgers University’s Zimmerli Arts Museum, where Marisa previously honed her craft and where her artwork was once displayed at an exhibit.

Marisa at the Zimmerli Arts Museum in 2012 being awarded a generous Summer Arts Scholarship for her achievement in camp and based on her potential

The camp runs on five successive weeks beginning June 25 and concluding July 28 (there is no camp on July 4).

The scholarship recipients can elect to participate in either full-day or half-day sessions for any one of those weeks.

The scholarship has been made possible through a donation to The Marisa Tufaro Foundation on behalf of a member of the Greater Middlesex Conference Baseball Coaches Association who wishes to remain anonymous.

The museum’s summer arts camp, which began 15 years ago, traditionally adds new classes annually. The schedule of classes from which scholarship recipients can choose will likely be available in February 2018.

Scholarship applicants must share Marisa’s passion and talent for art. Only an art teacher from a student’s school can nominate scholarship candidates.

Nominations must be submitted no later than February 1, 2018 in the form of an art teacher’s letter of recommendation on behalf of the candidate via email to

Parents and/or legal guardians of scholarship recipients are responsible for providing transportation to and from the Zimmerli Art Museum, located at 71 Hamilton Street in New Brunswick.

The Zimmerli Art Museum’s Summer Art Camp allows artists of various ability levels to interact and study with some of New Jersey’s best teaching artists.

Wes Sherman, who holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts and is a highly successful independent artist, heads the Summer Art Camp faculty.

According to Rutgers University’s website: “During the hot days of summer, the Zimmerli is the place to be for budding young artists. Each year, new classes are added to stimulate, challenge and delight both veteran and newcomers who participate in the program. The Zimmerli continues to offer its popular classes in painting, drawing, pastels, watercolors, sculpture and an art ‘sampler’ class. Children also find inspiration in the museum’s collections as they explore the galleries.”

Edison High School baseball coach Vinnie Abene, who serves as the Greater Middlesex Conference Baseball Coaches Association’s president, said a coach from the league called him immediately after attending Marisa’s wake and proposed the idea of an arts scholarship.

“There are a lot of great guys in our association and there were a lot of ideas that were thrown around at the time,” said Abene. “There was one particular coach that was really moved by what he saw at the wake with the amount of art projects that Marisa had accomplished and created. That truly inspired him to have a unique idea. He called me the same night as the wake and told me what his idea was, and he certainly made it a point that he wanted to keep it anonymous because it wasn’t about him. He just wanted to make sure that some worthy students would use the money toward an art scholarship.”

A representative of the Zimmerli Arts Museum, who processed the registrations for the two Marisa Tufaro Memorial Arts Scholarship recipients who attended last summer’s camp, told Marisa’s father, Greg, that she was incredibly impressed with the anonymous coach’s generosity and thoughtfulness. She said the scholarship in Marisa’s name was an outstanding and fitting tribute.

Marisa’s ambition was to attend an arts college, and while God’s plan did not allow her to make it to one, her work did. A piece Marisa constructed with a New York City School of Visual Arts graduate student during an art therapy session at New York Presbyterian’s Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital was displayed at the “Your Turn” exhibit at the college’s Flatiron Gallery in Manhattan in February.