Updated: Feb 10
PROVIDENCE, R.I., -- Rhode Island College has announced the three students who will receive this year’s Miranda Scholarships. The three recipients are: dance major Alexis Von Maluski, music performance major Assel Sat and theatre performance major Georgerinna Farley. All three students are in their junior year at RIC.
In 2018, Tony-award winning composer, lyricist and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, who’s best known for creating the Broadway musicals In the Heights and Hamilton, announced that him and his family would be creating the scholarship for RIC’s performing arts students. The scholarship is only offered at RIC and strives to “champion first-generation and underrepresented students in the performing arts.” For students to be eligible for the scholarship they must be a rising junior or senior pursuing a performing arts degree. Each recipient can earn a scholarship ranging from $3,000-$5,000 each year for their final two years at RIC.
“It’s challenging to find a pathway to a career in the performing arts when you don’t see yourself represented on that stage. That is why it’s so important to create opportunities for students who are typically underrepresented in the arts,” Miranda said in a statement announcing the scholarship.
One of this year’s scholarship recipients, Alexis Von Maluski said, “It’s an honor to be part of a scholarship that’s all about culture and representation and shining the light on minority culture. These are things that are really close to my heart and I’m really grateful to be a part of that.” Maluski started dancing at a very young age and says she first began performing tinikling, the Philiippine national folk dance, with her mother and aunts at family gatherings. She eventually began taking gymnastics, ballet, jazz, tap and contemporary dance classes. Maluski initially enrolled at RIC as an education major with a minor in dance but credits her experience in the RIC Dance Company for inspiring her to major in dance and youth development.
Assel Sat is an international student from Kazakhstan who is studying music performance. Her goal is to remain in the United States after her graduation and obtain a permanent position with a symphony orchestra. Sat says she that the Miranda scholarship will help her afford her tuition and graduate. “The Chair of RIC’s Music Department, Professor Ian Greitzer, suggested I apply for a Forman Scholarship, which I did. When I was awaiting word I couldn’t sleep for several days. When I was approved, I was just crying. The scholarship covered all my tuition, Now I am a Miranda family fellow too. I feel very honored and very proud.”
Theatre performance major Georgerinna Farley credits RIC Alum Viola Davis as being one of her favorite actresses. “Growing up I didn’t see a lot of representation of African American women in film and television so actresses like Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer have been a great inspiration to me.” Farley said that not only was RIC a perfect fit for her because Viola Davis graduated from the college but it also is affordable and close to her home.
On receiving the Miranda Scholarship Farley says, “Ultimately, this scholarship is not only for me. It’s for future generations of young Black actors who don't think they can make it. It's for little Black girls who don’t see enough of themselves on TV or think it's a far fetched dream to be on TV and film. I want them to know that it’s possible. Viola Davis showed me that it’s possible, and I want to be that inspiration for other girls.”
All three scholarship recipients had the opportunity to meet Lin-Manuel Miranda over Zoom and attend a week-long summit where they networked with directors, writers and members of the Hamiltion cast.
For more information about the scholarship recipients and the Miranda Scholarship click here.