National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts

The mission of National YoungArts Foundation (also known as National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts or NFAA), to identify and support the next generation of artists, and to contribute to the cultural vitality of the nation by investing in the artistic development of talented young artists in the visual, literary, and performing arts. YoungArts provides emerging artists with life-changing experiences with renowned mentors, access to significant scholarships, national recognition, and other opportunities throughout their careers to help ensure that the nation's most outstanding emerging artists are encouraged to pursue careers in the arts.
Jun 9, 2016

2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars, New Leader for YoungArts, YoungArts Miami and New York Recap

2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts
2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts

June is an exciting month for the National YoungArts Foundation as it celebrates the 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars, welcomes its new President and CEO, and looks back on two successful regional programs in March and April.

 

2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars Announced

The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) congratulates the 52nd class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, announced by U.S. Secretary of Education John King. The 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts—one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students and all of whom are YoungArts Winners—were nominated to The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars for their artistic achievement, and selected based on academic and artistic accomplishments, leadership responsibilities, community service and outreach initiatives, and overall creativity.

The award, presented on behalf of the President of the United States, symbolically honors graduating high school seniors of high potential and recognizes up to 161 students each year as U.S. Presidential Scholars. The 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts are actors, dancers, singers, classical musicians, visual artists, designers and writers, and joining YoungArts alumni and leaders in their fields such as Tony Award-nominated performer and choreographer Desmond Richardson; Los Angeles Music Center President Rachel S. Moore; novelist and National Book Award Finalist Allegra Goodman; Grammy Award-nominated violinist Jennifer Koh; BRAVO’s “Work of Art” winner Abdi Farah; OBIE Award-winning actress Donna Lynne Champlin; and RCA Records award-winning singer/songwriter and Grammy Award-nominated artist Chris Young.

“This year’s class of Presidential Scholars continues a more than 50 year trend of honoring students who have shown excellence in their educational, artistic and civic pursuits,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John King. “Thirty years ago, the program was expanded to include students in the arts, which is critical to providing students with a well-rounded education.” The National YoungArts Foundation, in cooperation with the Commission on Presidential Scholars and The U.S. Department of Education will present an exhibition of scholars’ artwork and writing, as well as a multidisciplinary performance and salute to the 2016 winners.

 

New Leader for YoungArts

On May 2, 2016, the Board of Trustees of the National YoungArts Foundation announced the appointment of Carolina García Jayaram as President and Chief Executive Officer. Ms. García Jayaram comes to YoungArts from United States Artists (USA), one of the nation’s largest grantmaking and advocacy organizations supporting performing, visual, media and literary artists, where she has served as President and Chief Executive Officer since 2014. Among her other achievements at USA, Carolina oversaw the formation of a new Fellows Alumni Advisory Council, the establishment of new partnerships with leading national organizations and festivals and the production of USA’s annual two-day convening, the Artists Assembly.

Ms. García Jayaram said, “The establishment of the campus in Miami, the expansion of the program’s outreach into other cities, the involvement of magnificent artists as advisors and role models—all this and more has made YoungArts the organization to watch. I’m extremely proud to have been chosen to advance YoungArts in realizing its indispensable mission.”              

 

Recap: YoungArts Miami and YoungArts New York

The National YoungArts Foundation’s 2016 YoungArts Miami program (March 8 to 13) and YoungArts New York program (April 12 to 17) offered YoungArts Winners, selected from a record 12,000 applications from emerging artists ages 15-18 (or in grades 10-12), the rare opportunity to learn, connect and collaborate with fellow peers and luminaries in their artistic fields. During YoungArts Miami, participants worked with renowned artists including director, producer and creator of “The Technique” Joan Scheckel, YoungArts alumni Yara Travieso (2005 Winner in Dance) and Jen Waldman (1993 Winner in Theater), who offered them support, mentorship and encouragement to pursue their passions and careers in the arts. These promising young artists also had the chance to share their talents with the public through multidisciplinary performances, writers’ readings, a cinematic arts screening and a visual arts exhibition on the YoungArts Campus and at The Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road.

YoungArts New York included interdisciplinary workshops, seminars and master classes with renowned leaders in their fields such as Derrick Adams, Carla Dirlikov Canales, Joan Lader, Joan Morgan, Adesola Osakalumi, Sir Salman Rushdie, and Conrad Tao, among others. During YoungArts New York, participants also shared their talents with the public through a series of performances at Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC), curated by BAC’s Artistic Director and legendary performer Mikhail Baryshnikov, BAC's Artistic Administrator Pedja Muzijevic, and Grammy Award-winning violinist Christian Hebel.

2016 YoungArts Miami
2016 YoungArts Miami
2016 YoungArts New York
2016 YoungArts New York

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Mar 14, 2016

2016 National YoungArts Week and YoungArts Los Angeles

YoungArts Week
YoungArts Week

In January, YoungArts kicked off its 35th anniversary year with National YoungArts Week, welcoming approximately 170 YoungArts Finalists to Miami. Throughout the week, these talented young artists worked with esteemed master teachers and mentors including MacArthur Genius Tarell McCraney (1999 Winner in Theater), Hip Hop feminist writer Joan Morgan, The Royal Ballet of London’s Sarah Lamb (1998 Winner in Dance & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), celebrated contemporary visual artist Jose Parla, and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Doug Blush (1984 Winner in Cinematic Arts), among others.

For 35 years, YoungArts has been offering emerging artists the support and encouragement they need to follow their dreams of becoming professional artists. During this time, we have developed a strong alumni network of more than 20,000 artists, many of whom value the encouragement they received at a young age so much so that they are now paying it forward as YoungArts master teachers,” stated Lisa Leone, Vice President of Artistic Programs for YoungArts.

National YoungArts Week culminated with the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, the YoungArts Backyard Ball, which was emceed by Tony and Grammy Award-winning actor, singer and director, YoungArts Alumnus Billy Porter (1987 Winner in Theater). During the event, YoungArts honored director and actress Rosie Perez and director Robert Wilson with the Arison Award, as well as performer, Tony Award nominee, YoungArts Master Teacher and 1997 YoungArts Winner in Theater Tony Yazbeck with the Arison Alumni Award, for their outstanding contributions and indelible impact on the arts. 

To reach out to more students, YoungArts also offers regional programs in Miami, New York, and Los Angeles, which are modeled after National YoungArts Week. Each regional program engages YoungArts Winners from all award levels—Finalist, Honorable Mention and Merit—and exposes local audiences to emerging artists in their community.

In February, YoungArts Los Angeles welcomed close to 80 YoungArts Winners, and provided them with the opportunity to take master classes and showcase their work. The intensive week included interdisciplinary workshops and concentrated master classes with renowned masters in their fields, such as choreographer, director and three-time Emmy Award winning actress Debbie Allen; Transparent producer Joan Scheckel; celebrated choreographer John Heginbotham; acclaimed composer and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain; Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist Vijay Gupta; visual artist Edward Arceneaux; BODYTRAFFIC Artistic director Lillian Barbeito; design duo the Haas Brothers; and the award-winning independent filmmaking duo of Nancy Savoca and Rich Guay. 

The YoungArts Miami and YoungArts New York Regional Programs are still to come, and will be highlighted in our next report. For more information on our current and upcoming programs, visit www.youngarts.org. Thank you for your support!

Finalists at 2016 YoungArts Backyard Ball
Finalists at 2016 YoungArts Backyard Ball

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Dec 15, 2015

Announcing Our 2016 YoungArts Winners!

2016 YoungArts Week Schedule
2016 YoungArts Week Schedule

National YoungArts Foundation Announces 2016 YoungArts Winners

819 Students from 42 States Recognized for Excellence in the Literary, Visual, Design and Performing Arts

MIAMI, FL (November 19, 2015) – The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) today announced its 2016 YoungArts Winners. From more than 12,000 applications—the largest number to date—819 young artists from 42 states have been selected for their outstanding work and accomplishments across the literary, visual, design and performing arts. Winners receive cash awards of up to $10,000, validation by renowned mentors, opportunities to participate in YoungArts programs, a strong professional network, and guidance in taking important steps toward achieving their goals. A complete list of the 2016 Winners is available online at http://youngarts.org/winners.

Each YoungArts Winner is designated as a Finalist, Honorable Mention or Merit Winner through a blind adjudication process by an independent panel of highly accomplished artists. Some Winners are awarded for excellence in multiple disciplines. 2016 Finalists have the opportunity to participate in the 35th annual National YoungArts Week in Miami from January 3 to 10, 2016, and all Winners are eligible to participate in YoungArts’ regional programs, including YoungArts Los Angeles (February 16 – 21, 2016), YoungArts Miami (March 8 – 13, 2016), and YoungArts New York (April 12 – 17, 2016), space permitting.

“On behalf of everyone at YoungArts, I want to congratulate all of our Winners and look forward to welcoming the Finalists to our campus in January,” stated Lisa Leone, Vice President of Artistic Programs for YoungArts. “As we kick off our 35th anniversary, we’re thrilled to see that YoungArts is continuing to grow and develop into a remarkable and vibrant community of more than 20,000 artists who are making contributions to the art world today. I am excited to see how this year’s winners thrive as they participate in our transformative programs.”

Of the 819 Winners, approximately 165 Finalists from around the country will come together for National YoungArts Week, which aims to foster cross-disciplinary collaboration and community while offering the guidance needed to prepare for the next stage of their careers. During the weeklong intensive, participants across 10 disciplines take master classes and workshops with internationally renowned leaders in their field, including MacArthur Genius Tarell McCraney (1999 Winner in Theater), Hip Hop feminist writer Joan Morgan, The Royal Ballet of London’s Sarah Lamb (1998 Winner in Dance and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), celebrated contemporary visual artist Jose Parla, and Academy Award winning filmmaker Doug Blush (1984 Winner in Cinematic Arts), among others. Throughout the week, their work will be further adjudicated to determine additional award levels, including a monetary award of $1,000 to $10,000. Finalists also share their talents with the public through performances in classical, jazz, voice, dance and theater, as well as film screenings at New World Center; an art, design and photography exhibition in the YoungArts Gallery; and writers’ readings in the YoungArts Jewel Box.

Finalists are eligible to become U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, as YoungArts is the exclusive nominating agency for this high honor. Every year, YoungArts nominates 60 YoungArts Winners to the White House-appointed Commission on Presidential Scholars, 20 of whom are selected to become U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts.

“To have such a formal organization acknowledge you as a young artist, saying that you have talent, was highly motivating for me,” said Terence Blanchard, multiple Grammy Award-winning trumpeter and composer and a 1981 YoungArts Winner in Music, the inaugural class of YoungArts Winners. “I was part of YoungArts when it first started, and the mentoring and scholarships I received definitely took my artistry and career to new heights which may not have been possible otherwise.”

YoungArts Winners become part of the organization’s expansive alumni network of leading professionals, including visual artists Doug Aitken (1986 Winner in Visual Arts) and Daniel Arsham (1999 Winner in Visual Arts); musicians Conrad Tao (2011 Winner in Music and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) and Jennifer Koh (1994 Winner in Music and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); filmmaker Doug Blush (1984 Winner in Cinematic Arts); recording artists Josh Groban (1999 Winner in Theater) and Chris Young (2003 Winner in Voice and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); writers Jenji Kohan (1987 Winner in Writing) and Sam Lipsyte (1986 Winner in Writing and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); actors Viola Davis (1983 Winner in Theater), Andrew Rannells (1997 Winner in Theater) and Kerry Washington (1994 Winner in Theater); renowned choreographer Desmond Richardson (1986 Winner in Modern Dance and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); and 2015 So You Think You Can Dance winner Gaby Diaz (2014 Winner in Dance).

YoungArts supports its alumni by providing opportunities to participate in the organization’s programming nationwide, including its annual YoungArts Awareness Day, a national advocacy campaign that promotes the arts as a rewarding and viable career path. The organization also seeks to support the artistry of its alumni and their projects throughout their careers; builds a community of YoungArts winners across generations; and establishes connections with partner institutions across the country, including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, American Ballet Theater and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

2015 YoungArts Theater Performance
2015 YoungArts Theater Performance

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