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Sindhu Surapaneni: Youngest artist nominated for Spokane Arts Award on inclusion

With just a $10 registration fee, Surapaneni hosted a 6-week summer camp and raised money for a nonprofit.
Credit: Courtesy of Sindhu Surapaneni' s mom
Young artist Sindhu Surapaneni posing in front of one of her drawings displayed at Liberty Lake City Hall.

SPOKANE, Wash — Sindhu Surapaneni, a 12-year-old Liberty Lake student, spent her time during the COVID-19 pandemic teaching others her art. She taught her art with love and with the sole purpose of helping others.

During quarantine Sindhu, hosted a 6-week summer camp with just a $10 registration fee in collaboration with Telugu Association of North America (TANA) a non-profit organization, where 560 students signed up.

Sindhu's mother, Sowmya Surapaneni, said through her art lessons, Sindhu raised $2,800 for Blessings Under the Bridge (BUTB), a nonprofit organization serving the homeless. She has donated more than $3,900 from her art in the last three months to BUTB.

Sindhu was nominated by the 2021 Spokane Art Awards for exemplifying inclusion in her community. The award is given to those individuals in the community who are creating bridges across divided groups and who are taking a proactive approach to accessibility and inclusion.

Sindhu is the youngest artist to ever be nominated for an award in inclusion at the Spokane Arts Awards.

Through art, Sindhu has accomplished different things. She was named student start in the Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP), a nonprofit organization geared toward academically talented students in grades 4-12, for one of her drawings. She drew a girl whose face is hued  in a variety of colors, with a heart-shaped American flag in the background. The drawing portrayed strength, diversity and promoted peace.

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, Sindhu spent her time giving free art online classes over Facebook and Zoom, where she taught how to draw to more than 2,000 students.

Sindhu's goal is to donate $1,111 to nonprofit Blessings Under the Bridge this year.

The 2021 Spokane Arts Awards winners will be announced at the Spokane Arts Awards celebration on Sep. 18.