Social Impact Statement: The Artist's Fingerprint: The Transformative Power of the Arts
Parents: Cathryn Huff & Evan Wooton
Hometown: Overland Park, KS
School: The University of Kansas Graduate
On June 8th, Annika Wooton, of Overland Park, Kansas, graduate of the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Arts in Illustration, was crowned Miss Kansas 2019. As Miss Kansas, Annika will make over 400 appearances during her year-of-service, many of them in Kansas schools making motivational presentations to students. Annika’s social impact initiative “The Artist’s Fingerprint: The Transformative Power of the Arts” places “art” in a different perspective. Every single piece of technology, clothing, architecture, and advertisement that exists, once went through the hands of an artist or a creative thinker.
Throughout her year-of-service, Annika will work to connect her social impact initiative with the Miss America national platform, Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals. She will serve as an ambassador, representing the hospitals who serve millions of children each year.
Annika represented Kansas at the 2020 Miss America Competition which was broadcast live on NBC from the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut on Thursday, December 19, 2019. She competed fiercely and was named a Top 15 Finalist, received a non-finalist talent award for her speed painting rendition of Chief Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and was presented with the Jean Bartel Social Impact Initiative Award (formerly Quality of Life) for her work as an arts advocate.
Miss Kansas travels throughout the state working closely with Ascension Via Christi – CMN Hospital, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, and Kansas Department of Transportation, establishing relationships and learning more about the individuals of all ages for whom she will advocate throughout her year as Miss Kansas.
In addition to her work with her social impact initiative, Annika is both artistically and musically talented. While she claimed the title of Miss Kansas with a vocal performance, Annika’s skills as a speed painter have been demonstrated throughout the state and recognized nationally. She has been awarded nearly $33,000 in cash scholarships through the Miss Kansas and Miss America competitions to apply toward her education and Bachelors Degree of Fine Arts and Design in Illustration and Animation from the University of Kansas.
The Miss Kansas Organization is a state franchise of the Miss America Organization, one of the nation’s leading achievement programs and the worlds’ largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. The Miss Kansas Scholarship Foundation, a 501(c) (3) organization makes available academic, community service, and other scholarships to women between the ages of 17 and 25. Annually, the Miss Kansas Organization provides over $5,000,000 in cash and in-kind scholarships assistance.