2016 MWAMF Scholarship

Winners Announced!





The Martin S. Wilson, Jr Center for the Arts congratulates its 2016 Scholarship recipients Julia Jackson from Mainland High School and Kara O’Brien from Holy Spirit High School.  Ms. Jackson will receive the 2nd Annual Ellen Eccles Memorial Scholarship valued at $3,000.  Ms. Jackson is currently enrolled at the University of Tampa majoring in Dance.  Ms. Jackson’s honors include being recognized as a top 20 senior solo artist at the “Turn it Up” Dance Nationals in 2014 as well as portraying “Daisy” in the Great Gatsby.  Ashley Tabano of the Encore Performing Arts Center added “Julia is a strong spirited individual in the advanced classes at the studio and spends 15+ hours a week in training. She is intelligent, artistic, innovative and genuine. She is one of the leaders of our competitive team this year and someone who is dependable. Julia typically rehearses 7 hours a week to prepare for the competitive season and exhibits maturity and discipline as well in all areas’.


Julia is also active in the Alcove Support Group for grieving children as well as St. Bernadette’s Church Youth Group and Our Lady’s Residence Nursing Home.


Kara O’Brien will receive the 2nd Annual Larry Wimberg Scholarship valued at $2,500.  Ms. O’Brien is currently a student at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA majoring in Illustration.  Denise Milano, the Chairperson of the Visual Arts Department at Holy Spirit said of Kara, “Kara has become a role model for her peers in the community. Kara often volunteers to offer support to her peers as they create. She has a patient, caring manner that emphasizes the importance of collaborative problem solving. In observing Kara’s commitment to the creative process her peers strive to excel as she does.  For her exemplary work Kara was presented with the Art Excellence Award for 2014, 2015 and 2016. The Art Excellence Award is given to the student who has demonstrated the highest level of achievement in studio and academic visual arts study for the year”.


Her work was twice chosen as a County finalist and twice won places in Teen Arts juried exhibitions at Richard Stockton College of NJ and the Noyes Museum's Atlantic City gallery.


Please join us in congratulating Julia and Kara on their achievements



Click here for an application and more details!




11:30am - 2pm

St. Michael’s Quaremba Hall

15 N. Georgia Avenue

Atlantic City, NJ 08401


Congratulations to our 2016 Honoree  Dr. Harvey Kesselman




For further information, please call 609-347-4500


Click here to download the flyer


Click here to learn more about Dr. Kesselman.


Thank you to all who were at the 8th Annual Wine Tasting at Angeloni's last June. 





Group honors memory of Ventnor attorney

by helping arts students


By DIANE D'AMICO, Staff Writer | AC Press


Marty Wilson Jr. packed a lot of giving into a relatively short life. His extended family has continued his work through a foundation that supports arts and music education in Atlantic County.

A native of Atlantic City, born and raised in the Ducktown section, Wilson became a lawyer and remained active in his community. He married Kathryn "Tiny" Molinari in December 1969 and settled in Ventnor, where they raised three children, Kathryn, Martin and Meredith. He coached the girls' softball team in the Ventnor City League, where Kathryn played, attended Martin's basketball games and Meredith's musical recitals.

"I can still picture him wearing a three-pieces suit, standing out there coaching softball," said his sister, Ellen Eccles of Atlantic City, a member of the Marty Wilson Jr. Arts and Music Foundation. When he died in 1993 at age 47, Eccles said 5,000 people attended the funeral.

Today the group honors Wilson with an annual scholarship to a high school graduate or college student from Atlantic County studying the arts, including culinary arts, Eccles said. They also give grants to public and private schools to help pay for supplies or fund an arts project.

Most recently they purchased a keyboard for Our Lady Star of the Sea School in Atlantic City. Four instruments the foundation had previously purchased were lost due to Hurricane Sandy. The foundation also pays for musician Johnny D'Angelo, of Ventnor, to teach the students, and has funded artist Charles Bessman, of Pleasantville, to work with students on murals at the school.

Sister Shamus Zehrer, principal of the school, said they don't have designated art and music teachers, so the grants help give the students the experience of working with professionals. The foundation board includes family and friends who grew up together in Atlantic City. "We've been friends since kindergarten," RoseMary Kau-keano, of Atlantic City, said of Eccles. "We lived on the same street and knew the whole family." Foundation President Nancy Marzolino, of Galloway Township, Wilson's cousin said they have also provided grants for arts projects at Atlantic City High School and some of the elementary schools in Atlantic City. Another cousin, Joseph Chialastri, of Margate, chairs the scholarship committee. He said this year they plan to raise the scholarship amount to $1,500 and possibly award two. Chialastri said they are looking for someone who is talented, but is also active in their community, and gives time to a cause. "We want them to show they are part of their community," he said, someone who takes after Wilson. "Marty was 14 years older than me, and I always looked to him as someone to learn from," Chialastri said. "This is such a nice tribute to his legacy."

Contact Diane D'Amico:

609-272-7241 • DDamico@pressofac.com


Reminder! Send In Your 2016 MWAMF Dues!


Program Funding Requests

Now being accepted. Complete the form and submit for consideration now!

Click here to download the form.


All content ©Marty Wilson Jr Art & Music Foundation, 2015. All rights reserved. Web and graphic design by Jester Graphix. www.jestergraphix.net