As the impact of COVID-19 continues, National YoungArts Foundation remains committed to identify the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary and performing arts, and provide them with creative and professional development opportunities throughout their careers. This month join us in celebrating the 2021 Lin Arison Excellence in Writing Awardee and recapping the premiere of Without Further Delay.
2021 Lin Arison Excellence in Writing Award
On March 9, 2021, National YoungArts Foundation was thrilled to announce Alora Young as the recipient of the 2021 YoungArts Lin Arison Excellence in Writing Award, a $50,000 scholarship given each year to a YoungArts winner in Writing. Young may apply the financial award against the cost of tuition, room and board to attend an accredited school of her choice.
Young is a spoken word artist and Youth Poet Laureate of Nashville, Tennessee. A senior at Hillsboro High School, Young serves as Editor-in-Chief of The Burro Underground and is the recipient of The Princeton Prize in Race Relations. She is the founder of AboveGround, a nonprofit organization seeking to create equity in Nashville elementary schools through a combination of creative writing and Black history. Young is also a TedX Speaker, and her work has previously been published in The New York Times, Signal Mountain Review and Rigorous Magazine.
Now in its fourth year, the Lin Arison Excellence in Writing Award demonstrates how individual donor support for YoungArts award winners can create transformative opportunities for artists throughout their careers. The award is part of YoungArts’ ongoing programmatic expansion, offering additional creative and professional development opportunities for artists throughout their careers.
Without Further Delay
On April 8, 2021, National YoungArts Foundation in partnership with Aon premiered Without Further Delay, a virtual dance performance. Choreographed by co-artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Tony Award nominee Desmond Richardson (1986 YoungArts Winner in Dance & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) the performance featured a composition by Grammy Award winner Terence Blanchard (1980 YoungArts Winner in Classical Music) and brought together nine 2021 YoungArts award winners from across the country. Without Further Delay investigated the current moment by exploring elements of isolation, confinement, communality, perseverance, and diversity. Without Further Delay, is available here on the YoungArts YouTube channel.
This dance commission is a part of YoungArts’ commitment to supporting YoungArts award winners at every stage of their careers. Throughout the season, all YoungArts award winners have ongoing opportunities to learn from notable guest artists and to participate in creative and professional development opportunities, as well as conversations and discussions to build community and engage with their peers.
As our season continues, please visit our website www.youngarts.org to stay informed of any upcoming programming or announcements. You may also subscribe to any of our social media sites, which include YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
YoungArts’ Executive Director Jewel Malone stated, “YoungArts remains steadfast in its commitment to empowering artists by providing them with essential opportunities for artistic, professional and financial support throughout their careers.” She continued, “During these uncertain times, YoungArts is raising critical funds for the organization through virtual campaign efforts to continue its support of artists, while also celebrating art and its power to bring people together.”
National YoungArts Week + | January 3 – 9, 2021 and January 25 – 30, 2021
On January 3, National YoungArts Foundation kicked off National YoungArts Week +, which focuses on four key areas: free virtual programming for artists and audiences; creative development and presentation opportunities; community support, engagement and networking; and financial awards.
National YoungArts Week + offers 2021 YoungArts award winners at the Finalist level, the organization's highest award, the opportunity to participate in a week long virtual program of workshops and panels, opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, project-based assignments, and classes with renown guest artists in their fields who will provide insight, coaching and mentorship throughout the week.
Typically an all-expenses paid in-person program, National YoungArts Week + has transitioned to be virtual and YoungArts has worked to ensure there are no barriers to participation during the week. Following the announcement of award winners, artists received a technical survey that identified materials, space, and other equipment necessary to participate. Any artist in need was provided with a National YoungArts Week + supply and equipment kit, including anything from computers and necessary software licenses to recording equipment and art supplies. Following the weeklong intensive program, audiences across the country will have the opportunity to meet the next generation of artists beginning Monday, January 25 at 8 PM ET through six nights of free virtual public performances, writers’ readings and an exhibition, and through a digital anthology and catalogue available on youngarts.org.
On Monday, award winners in Voice, ranging from classical voice to pop, will present solo performances in a virtual concert. On Tuesday, the Jazz musicians will present a virtual concert and the Theater winners will perform a new collaborative work. On Wednesday, the Dance winners will debut a new virtual performance and the winning films will be screened. On Thursday, the classical musicians will share solo performances and premiere two new works by winners in musical composition, followed by a culminating group performance. On Friday, a virtual exhibition of works by winners in Design Arts, Photography and Visual Arts will open with a special event featuring the artists talking about their work. The week will close out with virtual writers’ readings on Saturday. A full schedule and additional details can be found here.
Together, a short film | January 25, 2021
National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) presents Together, a short film, an ambitious endeavor to support artists across the country and at every stage of their development. Part of YoungArts’ Together fundraising campaign, Together, a short film was commissioned by YoungArts and has united YoungArts award winners, notable guest artists and educators to create an enchanting animated short that underscores powerful messages of solidarity and interdependence and supports the next generation of artists. Debuting on youngarts.org on January 25, 2021 at 8pm ET, the celebratory film is created by more than 1,500 individual digital frames that are each a one-of-a-kind piece of art with the presence of multiple artists, combinations that may never be found again. Each unique frame of the film will be available for purchase to support YoungArts.
Together, a short film will be screened during National YoungArts Week +, the organization’s signature program for YoungArts award winners at the Finalist award level, the nation’s most accomplished early career artists. Together, a short film’s individual digital frames will be sold for $175 and available at youngarts.org. The one-of-a-kind works will be printed and authenticated by YoungArts and sent to buyers along with details regarding the artists featured. For more information, please visit the Together Campaign page.
As the world continues to face the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, YoungArts remains committed to identifying the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary and performing arts, and providing them with creative and professional development opportunities throughout their careers. This report provides details to some of the programming that helps us to uphold our mission.
APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN
Applications for the 2021 competition are now open through October 16, 2020. Accomplished artists ages 15–18 years old (or in grades 10–12) are encouraged to apply online at youngarts.org/apply. All YoungArts award winners will receive financial awards, opportunities to work with renowned mentors and leading artists and will become eligible for exclusive creative and professional development support throughout their careers. Esteemed discipline-specific panels of artists judge applications through a rigorous blind adjudication process. YoungArts 2021 award winners will be announced by the end of November 2020. Details regarding 2021 programming and mentors will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit our site at https://youngarts.org/apply.
YOUNGARTS AWARENESS DAY
September 17, 2020 | All Day | Online
On September 17, join us in celebrating YoungArts Awareness Day, which is a nationwide initiative to encourage emerging artists to pursue their dreams of becoming professional artists. YoungArts Awareness Day aims to underscore the opportunities available to emerging artists (between the ages of 15 and 18 or in high school grades 1012) through the organization that provides them with lifechanging experiences to help ensure they are supported in their pursuit of careers in the arts.
The COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to prevent its spread have brought about changes in our lives we could not have imagined. With performance spaces, galleries, libraries, theaters and studios closed and the temporary halting of most cultural productions, artists are some of the hardest hit among the millions of Americans currently unemployed and facing financial hardships.
As a result, YoungArts launched the Emergency Microgrants initiative in April, which have been extended through June 2021. Emergency Microgrants are open to YoungArts alumni who are experiencing loss of income due to the cancellation of scheduled professional engagements or unexpected expenses related to COVID-19. Beginning in September, artists who have worked for the organization in the past three years, such as mentors and panelists, are also eligible to apply for Emergency Microgrants. YoungArts provides up to 25 unrestricted $1,000 Emergency Microgrants a month.
YoungArts has also increased project-based Creative Microgrants– originally launched in 2018 –committing to offer up to $5,000 per month to alumni. Creative Microgrants help to offset expenses related to professional development or creative works-in-progress.
In the program’s first five months, YoungArts Emergency Microgrants were distributed to more than 290 artists, and $32,689 in project-based Creative Microgrant funding has been distributed to 71 artists since November 2018.
In addition to increasing and expanding financial support of alumni, in 2021 all upcoming YoungArts award winners will receive a cash prize between $100 and $10,000.
As the country struggles to recover from the impact of the pandemic, we need artists to inspire us, to challenge us and to heal our communities. Artists bring us together—and with the collective whole making possible what we cannot do on our own—their sound, movement, writing and visual art influence how we relate to each other, and ultimately, how we transform our inner selves.
During times like these, staying connected—while staying apart—is becoming increasingly important. We need our communities, our peers and our networks to help us navigate this unprecedented situation, to be a sounding board and to share their support. Art and artists are essential to our well-being and shape how we all experience the world.
Although we are working remotely, everyone here at National YoungArts Foundation is available and remains absolutely committed to supporting artists across the country, while protecting their health and safety and that of our audiences, partners and staff. The creativity and strength of our artists inspire us each and every day. We are working hard on initiatives, resources and digital solutions to connect, create, and collaborate.
Now more than ever, the creativity and collaboration of our alumni and mentors continue to inspire us daily, and here are some highlights and happenings that are sure to inspire you as well.
YoungArts at Conrad’s | May 7, 2020
On May 7th, YoungArts hosted YoungArts at Conrad’s, a virtual edition of our quarterly YoungArts at Ted’s performance series, which featured acclaimed pianist and composer Conrad Tao (2011 YoungArts Winner in Classical Music & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts). Dubbed a musician of “probing intellect and open-hearted vision” by The New York Times, Tao presented a unique and compelling live show. The one-night-only event explored and expanded livestreaming as a medium through the experimental use of equipment, acoustic and electroacoustic elements, and beautifully gripping improvisations with music by Todd Moellenberg, Dan Thorpe, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Federico Mompou and Brahms, among others.
YoungArts Micorgrants: Artist Emergency Relief Fund
To support YoungArts alumni who are experiencing loss of income due to the cancellation of scheduled professional engagements or unexpected expenses related to COVID-19, YoungArts has launched an alumni emergency microgrant. YoungArts Alumni Emergency Microgrants are unrestricted $1,000 grants that will be distributed in three cycles over the next three months, from April through June 2020. Applications will be selected using a lottery system, with the goal of awarding more than 80 emergency microgrants each cycle. For questions about the application and eligibility, visit our FAQ.
Alone Together: Artist Talk with Jennifer Koh and Andrew Norman | May 15, 2020 3:00PM EST / 12:00 PM PST
Acclaimed violinist Jennifer Koh (1994 YoungArts Winner in Classical Music & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) recently launched Alone Together, a commissioning project and performance series, as an artistic response to the coronavirus pandemic and the financial hardship it has placed on many in the music community. Join YoungArts on Friday, May 15 for a conversation with Koh and composer, educator and advocate Andrew Norman (1998 YoungArts Winner in Classical Music). Together, they will discuss how this initiative is supporting freelance composers, offer advice for emerging artists, and share stories about their creative practices. This event will be hosted on Instagram Live at @youngarts.
Alone Together: Performance by Jennifer Koh | May 16, 2020 7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST
Acclaimed violinist Jennifer Koh (1994 YoungArts Winner in Classical Music & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) recently launched Alone Together, a commissioning project and performance series, as an artistic response to the coronavirus pandemic and the financial hardship it has placed on many in the music community. Join YoungArts on Friday, May 15 for a conversation with Koh and composer, educator and advocate Andrew Norman (1998 YoungArts Winner in Classical Music). Together, they will discuss how this initiative is supporting freelance composers, offer advice for emerging artists, and share stories about their creative practices. Norman and Koh’s collaboration for Alone Together will premiere the following evening on Saturday, May 16.
Primetime A Virtual Exhibition | May 21, 2020 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Join us for the opening of Primetime: A Virtual Photography Exhibition featuring the works of 11 YoungArts alumni. Follow curator Luisa Múnera on a virtual tour of the exhibition and meet the artists for a Q&A on May 21 at 1 PM ET on youngarts.org.
2021 Applications Open | June 2, 2020
Are you a 15- to 18-year-old visual, literary or performing artist? Now's your chance to apply to YoungArts' national arts competition. Accepting applications in Classical Music, Dance, Design Arts, Film, Jazz, Theater, Photography, Visual Arts, Voice and Writing.
YoungArts’ signature program is an application-based award for emerging artists ages 15–18 or in grades 10–12 from across the United States. Selected through a blind adjudication process conducted by an independent panel of highly accomplished artists, YoungArts winners receive valuable support, including financial awards of up to $10,000, professional development and educational experiences working with renowned mentors, and performance and exhibition opportunities at some of the nation’s leading cultural institutions. Joining a 20,000-strong alumni community, they receive creative and professional development opportunities and connect with an extraordinarily rich network of peers.
Happy New Year! Join us as we recap National YoungArts Week and the 2020 YoungArts Backyard Ball. We will also look forward to a few of our upcoming and exciting events.
2020 National YoungArts Week
From Monday, January 6 to Friday, January 10, 2020 audiences had the opportunity to discover the nation’s next generation of great artists during National YoungArts Week through performances in Classical Music, Dance, Jazz, Theater and Voice, and a film screening at New World Center, as well as a writers’ reading in the National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) Jewel Box, and a Design, Photography and Visual Arts exhibition curated by Pérez Art Museum Miami Curatorial Assistant Maritza Lacayo in the YoungArts Gallery.
National YoungArts Week is the National YoungArts Foundation’s signature program, which offers the most accomplished 15-18 year old (or in grades 10 – 12) artists the opportunity to participate in an all-inclusive week long program in Miami featuring master classes and workshops with leading artists in their fields.
2020 YoungArts Backyard Ball
The 2020 YoungArts Backyard Ball took place on Saturday, January 11. The evening brought together artists, influential community leaders, philanthropists and celebrities to support and acknowledge the achievements of the 2020 YoungArts winners, the nation’s most accomplished young artists in the literary, visual and performing arts.
As YoungArts’ largest annual fundraiser, the occasion marks the culmination of the organization’s signature program, National YoungArts Week. The evening was presented by fine jeweler Harry Winston and hosted by honorary chairs Sandra and Tony Tamer and co-chairs Sarah Arison and Thomas Wilhelm, Jay Franke and David Herro, and Oxana and Steven Marks. We welcomed more than 800 guests and raised over $1.7 million.
Additionally, we honored jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard (1980 YoungArts Winner in Classical Music) with the Arison Alumni Award and conceptual artist Teresita Fernandez with the Arison Award for their vital contributions and commitment to the arts. We also honored New York-based sculptor and installation artist Ilana Harris-Babou (2009 YoungArts Winner in Visual Arts) and Miami-based sculptor and painter Mateo Nava (2013 YoungArts Winner in Visual Arts & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) with the second inaugural Jorge M. Perez Award.
YoungArts at Ted’s: Judith Hill | February 13, 2020Multi-instrumentalist, Grammy Award-winning vocalist and songwriter, Judith Hill (2002 YoungArts Winner in Voice) joins us for the third YoungArts at Ted's, a quarterly performance series of one-night-only, intimate alumni performances.
YoungArts Miami | February 25, 2020 – March 1, 2020National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts)’s 2020 YoungArts Miami program will take place from February 25–March 1 and will offer 80 of this year’s YoungArts Winners—representing some of the region’s most accomplished young artists from 12 States—life-changing opportunities to learn, connect and collaborate with their peers and renowned artists in the visual, literary and performing arts. YoungArts Miami is part of a series of regional programs, including also Los Angeles and New York that are modeled after the organization’s signature program, National YoungArts Week. The programs provide unparalleled artistic development opportunities, including interdisciplinary workshops, public performances and master classes with creative leaders.
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