jackzink200On August 25, 2008, hundreds of friends, family members and those from the South Florida arts community gathered at Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale to pay tribute to theater critic, arts writer and founder of the Carbonell Awards, Jack Zink, who had passed away the week prior.

Seven years after that celebration of the life and work of Jack Zink, the Carbonell Awards Board of Directors has announced that the organization’s scholarship program has been renamed the The Jack Zink Memorial Carbonell Awards Scholarship.  The Carbonell Awards gives three scholarships yearly to high school students who want to pursue careers in journalism or theater.

Jack Zink was a leading theater critic and arts writer in South Florida for more than 40 years, writing for the Miami Herald, the Palm Beach Post, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel and Variety.  He founded the Carbonell Awards in 1975 to honor the thriving theater and nightlife scene in South Florida and was active in the organization until his death, often producing and directing the annual Carbonell Awards ceremony.

“As we approach the Carbonell Awards’ 40th anniversary, we are inspired by those who made the organization what it is today, one of the oldest and most prestigious regional theater awards programs in the country,” said Donald R. Walters, president of the Carbonell Awards Board of Directors.  “Jack Zink was not only the organization’s founder but also the man who shepherded the awards through its evolution.  We believe that renaming the scholarships for Jack is the best way to honor him and his dedication to theater and journalism in South Florida.”

By email, Jack Zink’s widow, Cynthia Zink of St. Augustine, and his sister, Carol Bruening of Lorain, Ohio, said they were touched when told of the honor.

“I would like to thank the Carbonell Awards for honoring Jack with the Jack Zink Memorial Carbonell Awards Scholarship,” said Cynthia Zink.   He covered the Arts in South Florida for almost 40 years.  He especially loved live theater.  It was a love affair I witnessed firsthand.  It made him laugh, gave him energy, made him reflect and at times almost made him cry.  He always wanted more, to see what splendor was being produced and by whom.  Thank you once again for honoring his life.”

Bruening said, “Some people touch our lives, Jack touched our hearts too. I want to thank the Carbonell Board of Directors from the bottom of my heart.  These tears of mine are both from the sadness in my heart from our loss of Jack seven years ago, to the happiness that his legacy and love of everything theatre will carry on.  Thank you for not letting him be forgotten.”

The 40th annual Carbonell Awards ceremony will be held Monday, April 4, 2016, at Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale.  For more information about the Carbonell Awards, visit


Scholarships are awarded to graduating high school seniors who have achieved a minimum 2.5 GPA, are enrolled in college to pursue a degree in theatre or journalism.  The selection of recipients is based on talent, experience, and demonstrated commitment to the theatre.  The award amount is $1,000.  Awards are bestowed upon recipients at the annual awards ceremony each spring.

Download the guidelines/instructions here: Scholarship Guidelines Letter 2015

Download a PDF version of the application here:  2015 Scholarship Form PDF or Download a MS Word version of the application here: 2015 Scholarship Form WORD. The file will be automatically downloaded to your desktop.