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NEW MEXICO GOVERNOR'S MANSION FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP FUND
Beginning in 2016, the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Governor's Mansion Foundation decided to expand its mission to include education and outreach in order to target young people within the organization's purpose and objectives. A scholarship fund was established, and after a successful first round of fundraising, an inaugural event was designed by former NMGMF president Jaima Chevalier to kick-off the program. In partnership with the New Mexico Film Foundation, the NMGMF held a scholastic screenwriting contest, themed to New Mexico history, entitled "Shooting Stars at the Governor's Mansion." Students from around the state submitted their scripts for consideration.
On April 17, 2017, the Residence was glammed up Hollywood style for the event with movie posters, a red carpet, and a "step and repeat" backdrop for paparazzi-posing. Excited students and their parents mingled with New Mexico film personalities, and Miss New Mexico and the Governor rounded out the celebrity crowd. Local actors were given copies of the finalists' scripts for a staged "table read" of the top three scripts, which were judged by local celebrities, including flamenco artist "La Emi," talk radio personality Richard Eeds, screenwriter Bradd Hopkins, Rosalia Triana and Maura Dhu Studi, wife of Hollywood actor Wes Studi.
The winning script, "Monstrous," was written by Oliver Galvan - De La Cruz, a recent UNM graduate with a double degree in biology and chemistry. Second place winner was Maysie Kilgore and third place was conferred on Kody Hamilton. Top prize drew $1000 in prize money, second place $300 and third place received a $200 prize. After his initial brush with the world of screenwriting, we are happy to report that Galvan - De La Cruz is hard at work on an episodic television script entitled "Nativo," already optioned by a local production company.
The Shooting Stars event drew the most publicity ever for the Foundation and its programs. Feature articles appeared in The Albuquerque Journal, The Santa Fe New Mexican, and Round the Roundhouse. Ad coverage also appeared in The Santa Fe Reporter. Local radio spots gave the event considerable advance publicity.
The Foundation also received great support from the local business community, with sponsors such as Jinja Bar & Bistro, Hotel Santa Fe, Jean Cocteau Theatre, The Beestro, Fiasco Fine Wine, The Cornivore Popcorn Company and Casa Nova Custom Catering all donating to the successful event.
The Foundation looks forward to continuing to grow the scholarship fund, and to planning additional scholastic events and competitions that will help to bring the great story of the Residence to the people of New Mexico.
First place winner Oliver Galvan - De La Cruz
Attendees at 2017 "Shooting Stars" screenwriting event.
Photo courtesy of Brian Fishbine