Paper Circle’s Youth Program Is Finalist For National Award

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A summer youth arts and wellness program in Nelsonville has been announced as a finalist for the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, which is awarded by First Lady Michelle Obama.

On Wednesday, it was announced that Circle Round the Square, Paper Circle’s intensive summer youth program, had been chosen as one of the 50 finalists for the $10,000 national prize. There will be 12 winners selected at the end of June.

The 12 award recipients will not only receive $10,000, but will also get the opportunity to attend the White House ceremony to accept the award from Obama. Winners also receive a full year of capacity-building and communications support to help them leverage their funds.

According to Paper Circle Director Barbara Campagnola, the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award is the nation’s highest honor for out-of-school arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America’s young people, particularly those from underserved communities.

Many of the other finalists announced Wednesday are in large metropolitan areas.

Campagnola said that this is the first year Paper Circle has applied for the award. She said it was a lot of work, but clearly worth the effort.

“Circle Round the Square owes its success, in part, to all the talented and dedicated artists and staff who have poured their hearts into this program for the past 10 years. I am excited for all of us. This is a collective accomplishment,” she said.

In addition to its Circle Round the Square summer youth program, Paper Circle has monthly exhibits and community workshops. Last year, Paper Circle also added screen printing.

Paper Circle volunteer Charlie Touvell said that volunteers are currently testing products to see what they could sell. He said volunteers will also be doing screen printing during the Nelsonville Music Festival.

Campagnola said that the press will allow Paper Circle to make all kinds of products such as T-shirts, posters, cards, invitations and more.

“It’s a wonderful new dimension to Paper Circle,” she said.

Paper Circle is located at 35 W. Columbus St., Nelsonville, on the Public Square. The shop is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For information about Paper Circle, visit For information about the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, visit