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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 Thank you for your support!

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


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

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

Sep 15, 2015

Announcing YoungArts Residency in Dance & 2nd Annual YoungArts Awareness Day

YoungArts Awareness Day Miami Events
YoungArts Awareness Day Miami Events

Announcing YoungArts Residency in Dance

YoungArts) is proud to announce that Complexions Contemporary Ballet—co-founded by Tony Award-nominated Broadway performer, 1986 YoungArts Winner in Modern Dance and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, Desmond Richardson—will be YoungArts’ resident dance company from October 25 through November 8. Supported by a generous grant from ArtPlace America, this residency builds on YoungArts’ existing visual arts residency program and expands the organization’s support of artists in the United States while strengthening its place as a creative catalyst for Miami’s growing cultural landscape.

Being YoungArts’ resident dance company will provide the renowned Complexions Contemporary Ballet with time, space and resources, giving the dancers a chance to work in Miami and engage with its community. Complexions will receive an honorarium; a stipend to cover travel, projects and other related expenses as well as two weeks of housing and a studio workspace in the newly renovated Jewel Box on the YoungArts Campus. While in residence, the company will create an original work by Master Choreographer Dwight Rhoden that will premiere at the company’s annual Joyce Theater Season in New York between November 17 and 29. On November 7, Complexions will share some of its work with the public through an Outside the Box performance in Miami.





2nd Annual YoungArts Awareness Day

On September 24, we're celebrating the second annual YoungArts Awareness Day with events in Miami, New York and Los Angeles.  YoungArts Awareness Day is a national campaign recognizing the organization’s impact on thousands of emerging artists with a calltoaction for future generations. This year’s events will take place on the heels of National Arts in Education Week to emphasize the growing need for programs that foster development, provide access to financial rewards, and present the arts as a viable career path—especially as schools are rapidly eliminating the arts within their curricula. YoungArts Awareness Day will be celebrated through a series of public events in New York, Miami and Los Angeles. The initiative aims to show that #becauseofyoungarts, artists ages 15 to 18 years are able to take the next steps toward achieving their goals and building a strong professional network including awardwinning and acclaimed alumni, such as Doug Aitken, Conrad Tao, Desmond Richardson and Kerry Washington, among other notable figures.

“Through YoungArts Awareness Day we hope to activate the public and our more than 20,000 YoungArts alumni to reach young artists in every corner of this country and make sure they know that we are here to support their dreams of becoming a professional artist,” said Lisa Leone, Vice President of Artistic Programs for YoungArts. “We want to show them that being an artist is a worthwhile and fulfilling career path, and that we will guide and mentor them to help reach their fullest potential.”

The YoungArts network, including thousands of professional artists, master teachers, parents and aspiring artists, will take to social media to share their personal YoungArts stories and discuss why the arts are important using the hashtags #becauseofyoungarts and #keepartsalive. Events aim to inspire young artists (between the ages of 15 and 18 or in high school grades 1012) to apply to become a part of the 35th Anniversary Class of YoungArts Winners at through October 16, 2015.

YoungArts Awareness Day events in New York City will feature Andrew Rannells (1997 YoungArts Winner in Theater), Zuzanna Szadkowski (1997 YoungArts Winner in Theater and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), and Tony Yazbeck (1997 YoungArts Winner in Theater) at the helm of a dynamic Broadway showcase. In Los Angeles, Black Gatsby (D’Angelo Lacy) (2005 YoungArts Winner in Theater) will direct a rock/pop concert starring India Carney (2011 YoungArts Winner in Theater, Voice and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); and in Miami, at our headquarters, a selection of Daniel Arsham’s (1999 YoungArts Winner in Visual Arts) work—curated by Los Angeles County Museum of Art Department Head and Curator of Contemporary Art Franklin Sirmans— will open to the public in conjunction with a YoungArts Salon featuring Arsham and Sirmans in conversation about the exhibition. The first of an exciting season of programming, the YoungArts Salon Series is sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. For more information, visit



How will you celebrate YoungArts Awareness Day?


Daniel Arsham (1999, Visual Arts)
Curated by Franklin Sirmans, newly appointed Director of Perez Art Museum Miami
@ YoungArts
An interactive exhibition that begins with nearly 2,000 objects made of chalk and evolves with the markings, drawings and words of gallery visitors.

6:30-8 PM | Salon Series: Arsham and Sirmans in Conversation
sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

8-10 PM | Exhibition Opening Reception




2:30 PM | Greg Zelek (2010, Music) at The Met 
@ The André Mertens Galleries for Musical Instruments, North Balcony (Gallery #683)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Free with museum admission

9:30 PM | YoungArts Cabaret 
@ 54 Below
Directed by Zuzanna Szadkowski (1997, Theater, PSA)
Performances by:
Andrew Rannells (1997, Theater)
Grace Weber (2006, Theater, Voice, PSA)
Tony Yazbeck (1997, Theater)




9 PM | A Disco/Pop Concert
@ Madame Siam in West Hollywood
Directed by D'Angelo Lacy (2005, Theater)
Performances by:
India Carney (2011, Theater, Voice, PSA)
Jay Jackson (2007, Dance, PSA)
Fiona Grey Schenkelberg (2013, Voice)
Satori Folkes-Stone (2014, Dance)
Michelle May (2014, Dance)

Free with RSVP




3 PM (EST) | Q&A with Josh Groban (1999, Theater)
Join our Facebook page for a live Q&A session with YoungArts alumnus Josh Groban!


YoungArts Awareness Day New York Events
YoungArts Awareness Day New York Events
YoungArts Awareness Day Los Angeles Events
YoungArts Awareness Day Los Angeles Events


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