The Shawna Shea Film Festival is an annual fundraiser fot the Shawna E. Shea Memorial Foundation Inc. which honors the memory of Shawna Shea, who at 16 tragically lost her life in an automobile accident in 1999. Her classmates memorialized Shawna by raising $10,000 and establishing The Shawna Shea Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded annually to a female Uxbridge High School graduate who exhibits the qualities of the late Shawna Shea, qualities that made her unique and made a lasting impact on everyone she touched in her short life here on Earth.
Those qualities are best described in a poem written by her father Skip Shea entitled, “She Rode Her Own Wave.” It begins like this:
She Rode Her Own Wave
inviting any and all on,
but never drifting off on others.
It was a large wave
with a direct route to the shore
passing us as the undertow
pulls us further out.
In 2015, the Shawna E. Shea Memorial Foundation Inc. was incorporated as a non-profit organization, continuing and expanding the educational and charitable work we do. The mission of the Shawna E. Shea Memorial Foundation Inc. is to support young people, especially women, in filmmaking, performance arts and other artistic and cultural endeavors through financial assistance, collaborative fellowships, mentoring and educational opportunities. We established the Foundation in memory of Shawna, a creative and artistic young woman who lost her life too soon and we strive to sustain her legacy of encouraging young people who live in the margins of society and yet have dreams and aspirations in the fields of film and performance arts.
In addition to the Shawna E. Shea Memorial scholarship for graduating Uxbridge High School seniors and a second related scholarship in the name of her late cousin Michael Liberty, the Foundation also sponsors and hosts the annual Shawna Shea Film Festival.
Every year, Shawna’s family members and friends create fun and meaningful events to sustain The Shawna Shea Memorial Scholarship Fund to continue this legacy that honors Shawna, her character and her values.