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Evanston teen a finalist in national arts contest

Ava Suppelsa, a 17-year-old Evanston singer and songwriter, and the daughter of WGN-TV anchor Mark Suppelsa, has been named a 2015 National Young/Arts Foundation finalist in the category of Voice/Singer/Songwriter. The teen, who was born and raised in the North Shore suburb, is currently a high school senior at the famous Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan.According to her proud papa, her music style can be described as “James Taylor meets Norah Jones in the country.”Next month, Suppelsa will travel to Miami to join 170 other Young/Arts finalists who have been chosen for their excellence in the performing, visual and literary arts. They have been selected from 11,000 applicants nationwide — competing in 10 arts disciplines. They will be mentored by some of the world’s top artists. The National YoungArts Foundation was founded in 1981 with a mission to “provide these emerging artists with life-changing experiences and validation by renowned mentors, access to significant scholarships, national recognition and other opportunities throughout their careers to hep ensure that the nation’s most outstanding emerging artists are encouraged to pursue careers in the arts.”Each finalist will receive an award between $1,000 and $10,000 and will be considered for a U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts nomination. Past YoungArts winners include Oscar winning actress Viola Davis, “Scandal” star Kerry Washington, singer/actress Vanessa Williams, trumpeter Roy Hargrove and recording artists Nicki Minaj and Josh Groban.