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HWF Academic Scholarship Program



Throughout her lifetime Helene V. B. Wurlitzer (1874-1963) developed and funded several humanitarian programs ranging from music education, radio programs, academic scholarship programs, medical research and other philanthropic endeavors.

During the first half of the 20th century, Helene was very active in supporting the College of Music of Cincinnati. In the 1930's she was instrumental in developing a radio and television department for the purpose of musical expression, as well as a scholarship program.

It was during her work as the first woman on the College's Board of Regents that she met a young opera singer from Taos, Eduardo Rael. Their friendship was a catalyst for Helene moving to Taos in the early 1940's. In 1955 the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music bestowed an honorary doctorate degree upon Helene for her contributions to the College and its students.

In her later years Helene became a patroness to dozens of visual, literary, and musical artists in and around Taos. In 1954 she established The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico (HWF). In addition to the HWF artist residency program, Helene was sure to incorporate a student scholarship program intended to support aspiring artists.


1940's Taos, NM - Helene Wurlitzer with youngsters outside her home in Taos.


Eelatsoii Muskrat
2023 Scholarship Winner
I feel that, by gaining more knowledge of my passions in order to properly express them through my artwork, I can be a positive change in the world. I find it extremely important to educate others about the stereotypes and prejudice that have long affected Native Americans, and hope to create a healthier and more loving space for little girls like me so they can walk with pride knowing they come from powerful people. I hope to spread awareness through film, my passion for the arts, and media. Art has always acted as an escape from the real world for me, and in many ways the only way I can truly express my feelings, and I would love nothing more than the opportunity to share that with the world. I can't express enough how thankful I am to HWF for believing in me and helping me achieve my dreams and aspirations.
Nettie Benjamin
2023 Scholarship Winner
I knew I wanted to be a musician for as long as I can remember, but all this time, the question hasn't been "Why" but "How?" How do I get there? How do I utilize this musical passion I have been lucky enough to receive? How do I learn the skills I need to make a difference? And as I grew older, the most impending question quickly became-- How do I pay for it all? Luckily, I was surrounded by a community passionate about the arts and supporting individuals who wished to thrive as artists. Working with the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation allowed me to learn about the history behind some of the creators in Taos and connect with artists still in the area. Most importantly, I was given a much-needed hand in paying for the ever-rising cost of an education. I can now slow down enough to be excited about my college plans, now drastically more within reach. Still, even more so, I am excited to return with a new perspective and degree. I will attend Drury University in the fall to acquire a bachelor's degree in Music Therapy. I hope to come back to the Taos area to support the young collective here in the valley and do my best to better the current condition of the human mind and spirit.
Anakaela Trujillo
2022 Scholarship Winner
This Fall, I will be a freshman at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, majoring in recorded music. The support of this funding will help me focus on my schoolwork, and not have to worry so much about how I will pay for my education. I hope to be able to develop innovative musical ideas and be able to experiment artistically, while collaborating with other passionate musicians. In addition, this scholarship will support my goal to create fair representation and diversity within the music industry. As I begin this new journey, I am not only motivated to make myself and my family proud, but also [HWF] that has generously invested in my future.
Milan Foley
2021 Scholarship Winner
I am eternally grateful for the opportunity the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation has provided me with. this scholarship has enabled me to pursue my love and interest in the arts. In the fall, I will be attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, I will be majoring in photography. The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation made it possible for me to continue my studies in what I love most. Big thanks to the foundation for continuing to supporting young adults pursuing the arts.
Michelle Montez
2021 Scholarship Winner
I am deeply honored to have been chosen as a recipient of the Helene Wurlitzer Scholarship. I love the arts; they have engraved themselves on my heart. I cannot express how grateful I am to the foundation for investing in my creative future. This scholarship will allow me to continue participating in photography, poetry, and my major of music. This scholarship has lifted a burden from my family’s and my shoulders. Thank you so much for supporting artists in their education.
Ryan (Ry) Cox
2020 Scholarship Winner
I am incredibly grateful... As a Fine Arts major, I will be exploring the many classes and career pathaways that are offered. This scholarship will allow for me to get the supplies needed for me to be successful in my classes as well as give me an opportunity to explore the arts through my own curiosities. Once again, thank you for your contribution and for supporting students' passions and future goals.
Robert Trujillo
2020 Scholarship Winner
I am sincerely honored to have been selected as a recipient of the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico Scholarship. This fall I will be a freshman at Pratt Institute, and I will be majoring in Film. Your scholarship will help me to study my passion by reducing my finiancial burden. This will help me to focus on my schoolwork, and not have to worry so much about how I will pay for my education. For this I am grateful... and I am happy to let you know how eager I am to make the most of my education. Thank you so much for the effort and contributions you make to helping students.

HWF Today

Consistent with Helene's lifelong dedication to supporting education, The HWF continues its tradition of providing academic scholarships to graduating high school students who wish to enter college as art majors.

Every year the HWF Scholarship Committee selects two emerging art students from the Taos community to receive the scholarship. The scholarship renews each year that the student enrolls in good standing for up to four years.


High school seniors in Taos County who have plans to pursue a degree in literary arts, visual arts, or musical composition are eligible to apply for the scholarship. More about the application process here: HWF Scholarship Info


The HWF Academic Scholarship Program is a donor-funded program. To support this program and Taos' emerging artists visit our Donate page.