Support Art Education and Inspire Young Artists

by National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts
2015 U.S. Presidential Scholars Performance Invite
2015 U.S. Presidential Scholars Performance Invite


The 20 Scholars in the Arts, all YoungArts Winners, were nominated to The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars by YoungArts for their artistic achievement, and then selected based on academic achievement, personal characteristics and leadership and service activities. The award, presented on behalf of the President of the United States, is one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students and symbolically honors all graduating high school seniors of high potential.

Each year, the U.S. Presidential Scholars are invited to Washington, D.C. for several days of recognition activities. The scholars meet with government officials, educators, authors, musicians, scientists and other leaders. Scholars also visit museums and monuments in our nation’s capital and attend recitals, receptions and ceremonies held in their honor. 

In addition to these activities, the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts have the opportunity to display their artwork in an exhibition and perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. 



White HouseThe Medal

In 1979, President Carter expanded the program to honor up to 20 students through an artistic competition. The National YoungArts Foundation is the sole nominating agency for these scholars - the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts - identifying candidates selected from among the winners of its national program.

YoungArts begins with approximately 11,000 applications and ultimately nominates 60 winners for consideration by a Commission appointed by the President. Through a rigorous selection and review process administered by the U.S. Department of Education, scholars are selected on the basis of academic and artistic success, leadership, service in school and the community, and creativity.


2015 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts
2015 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts
2015 YoungArts PSA Millennium Stage Schedule
2015 YoungArts PSA Millennium Stage Schedule



Each year, the National YoungArts Foundation hosts regional programs in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York which are modeled after its signature national program, National YoungArts Week, held annually in Miami, where the organization is headquartered. Throughout the week, participants work with renowned artists, who offer them support, advice and encouragement to pursue their passions and a career in the arts. Through these regional programs, YoungArts engages hundreds of Winners, who were chosen from a pool of more than 11,000 applications from 15-18 old (or grades 10-12) artists from around the country. Winners also have an opportunity to receive cash awards of up to $10,000 (YoungArts has bestowed over $12 million in monetary awards to date); are afforded access to significant scholarships (in the past two years alone, YoungArts has facilitated in excess of $60 million in scholarship opportunities); and are eligible to be recognized as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, as YoungArts is the exclusive nominating agency for this high honor for artistically talented graduating high school seniors.

The YoungArts Los Angeles Regional Program occurred February 17-22, 2015, and offered approximately 100 aspiring artists – all of whom were 2015 YoungArts Winners – life-changing experiences. During YoungArts Los Angeles, these emerging artists participated in interdisciplinary workshops and intensive master classes with renowned masters in their field, including dance legend Debbie Allen (Dance); Chief Curator of Contemporary Art at LACMA Franklin Sirmans (Visual Arts); acclaimed Los Angeles-based design duo the Haas Brothers (Design); Tony Award nominee Malcolm Gets (Theater); and the award-winning independent filmmaking duo of Nancy Savoca and Rich Guay (Cinematic Arts).During YoungArts Los Angeles, participants also shared their talents with the public through three multidisciplinary performances, a cinematic arts screening, and a visual arts exhibition at the Los Angeles Theater Center on Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles.

A few weeks after YoungArts Los Angeles concluded, the YoungArts Miami Regional Program took place.  Over 100 YoungArts Winners gathered in Miami March 10-15, 2015 to work with Master Artists such as YoungArts Alumna Zuzanna Szadkowski, Phillip Neal, John Heginbotham and Kristy Edmunds, and showcased their creativity through performances, readings, exhibitions and screenings on the YoungArts Campus and at the Colony Theatre.

Next month, more talented YoungArts Winners will be heading to the city where dreams are made of to participate in the YoungArts New York Regional Program, taking place from April 27 to May 3, 2015.


Dance performance at 2014 YoungArts Week
Dance performance at 2014 YoungArts Week


National YoungArts Foundation Announces 2015 YoungArts Winners

786 Students from 46 States Recognized for Excellence in the Literary, Visual, Design and Performing Arts Finalists to Participate in 2015 National YoungArts Week in Miami from January 4 to 11, 2015

MIAMI, FL (November 20, 2014) – Today, the National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) announces its 2015 YoungArts Winners. Out of more than 11,000 applications, 786 young artists from 46 states are being recognized for their outstanding work and accomplishments in one of ten disciplines across the literary, visual, design and performing arts. All Winners will have the opportunity to participate in YoungArts programs designed to support young artists at critical junctures in their careers and to encourage them to pursue a life in the arts. A complete list of the Winners is available online here:

"I congratulate all 786 Winners and look forward to welcoming the Finalists to our campus in January and getting to know this vibrant and passionate group of artists during National YoungArts Week," stated Paul T. Lehr, President & CEO of the National YoungArts Foundation. "These are our nation’s next big names, from Hollywood to Broadway, from museum walls to fashion runways, and I always look forward to seeing where all of our Winners end up."

YoungArts Winners are designated into three categories–Finalist, Honorable Mention and Merit–and are selected through a blind adjudication process. Some Winners are awarded for excellence in more than one discipline. 2015 Finalists have the opportunity to participate in the 34th annual National YoungArts Week, which takes place in Miami from January 4 to 11, 2015, and all 2015 Winners are eligible to participate in YoungArts’ regional programs – YoungArts Los Angeles (February 17-22, 2015), YoungArts Miami (March 10-15, 2015), and YoungArts New York (April 27 – May 3, 2015) – space permitting.

All Winners become part of the YoungArts alumni network of more than 20,000 artists, many of whom have gone on to become leading professionals in their fields, including visual artists Doug Aitken and Daniel Arsham; musicians Terrence Blanchard and Jennifer Koh; filmmaker Doug Blush; recording artists Josh Groban and Chris Young; writers Jenji Kohan and Sam Lipsyte; actors Viola Davis, Andrew Rannells and Kerry Washington; renowned choreographer Desmond Richardson; and recent So You Think You Can Dance winner Ricky Ubeda. YoungArts supports its alumni in a number of ways, such as providing them with opportunities to participate in national programs, local events and the three-time Emmy-nominated HBO Family Documentary Special, YoungArts MasterClass; seeking ways to promote their artistic ideas and projects; and establishing connections for them with YoungArts’ partners around the country, including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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

Of the 786 Winners, approximately 170 Finalists from across the nation will come together for National YoungArts Week. During National YoungArts Week, Finalists will participate in a week of intense master classes and workshops with internationally renowned artists. Past Master Teachers include Debbie Allen, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Plácido Domingo, Frank Gehry, Bobby McFerrin, Robert Redford, James Rosenquist, Marisa Tomei and Bruce Weber, to name a few. Throughout the week, Finalist’s work will be further adjudicated to determine additional award levels including a monetary award of up to $10,000. Students will also have the opportunity to share their work with the public through performances and exhibitions at New World Center and on the YoungArts campus.

YoungArts Week is supported by our National Premier Sponsor Carnival Foundation; the 2015 YoungArts Week Performance Sponsor SunTrust; as well as Aon; James Royal Palm Hotel; Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; the Miami Herald; MIAMI Magazine; and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

In celebration of the 2015 YoungArts Winners, the YoungArts Backyard Ball Performance and Gala will be held on the YoungArts campus for the second time on Saturday, January 10, 2015. Co-chaired by Bruce and Tracey Berkowitz and Elizabeth and Facundo Bacardi, the evening will feature an alumni performance directed by Tony Award-winning dancer, choreographer and YoungArts Artistic Advisor Bill T. Jones, and emceed by actress and YoungArts Alumna Zuzanna Szadkowski (1997 Winner in Theater and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts).

Congratulations to our 2015 YoungArts Winners!
Congratulations to our 2015 YoungArts Winners!

YoungArts Staff and Members with Alumni Mural
YoungArts Staff and Members with Alumni Mural

We would like to extend a warm THANK YOU to all the individuals and organizations who helped us celebrate YoungArts Awareness Day. Through your support, we were able to spread the word about the importance of arts education. We were inspired by the overwhelming response and hope you will continue to #KeepArtsAlive! 

A special thank you to those who donated in support of YoungArts Awareness Day:

Books and Books; Betty B. Chapman; Albert Clark; Tracey Corwin; Ann and Felipe De Las Pozas; Irene DuMaurier-Oleksiak; Michael and Amy Goldbas; Dennis A. Gorman; Agnes Gund; Jennifer and David Lee Heinemann; P. Todd Heustess; Mark and Ann Hicks; Linda and William Ho; The James Royal Palm; Kalyn Chapman James; Brian E. and Suzanne L. Keeley; Dr. Valerica Maican; Marvin L. Meitus; Mark T. and Sharon Nash; Soledad Picón-Fernandez; Ellen B. Pilelsky and Roy Oppenheim; Alex Pline; Joseph S. and Norma Rosenberg; Denis Sheeran; Charles and Sandra Simon; E. Roe and Penelope W. Stamps; Gina and Doug Steffen; Gail Waxenberg and Dale Chapman Webb. 

Check out a some of the highlights from the day below.

MIAMI - In Miami, the YoungArts Awareness Day celebration kicked off with a breakfast where YoungArts received official proclamations by both the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County declaring September 8th YoungArts Awareness Day. Guests were taken on a tour of the latest piece of art on the campus - a mural by YoungArts Alumnus Lee Pivnik and muralist Douglas "Hox" Hoekzema. The day continued with pop-up performances around town, and the premiere screening of the HBO show Joshua Bell: YoungArts MasterClass, followed by a salon sponsored by the Knight Foundation and performance by the Grammy award-winning violinist and YoungArts Alumni. 

NEW YORK - In New York, YoungArts alumni gathered in Rockefeller Center to kick off YoungArts Awareness Day at the Today Show/NBC. That same afternoon alumni gathered at Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle and treated guests to a wonderful performance. 

LOS ANGELES - In Los Angeles, YoungArts alumni popped-up at the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica and wowed shoppers with their artistic talents.

NASHVILLE - We were there when YoungArts Alumnus and country music star Chris Young visited the Nashville School of the Arts on YoungArts Awareness Day to donate $30,000 for the school's new auditorium and speak about the important of music education!

The National YoungArts Foundation identifies and supports the next generation of artists, and contributes to the cultural vitality of the nation by investing in the artistic development of talented young artists in the literary, visual, design and performing arts.

Joshua Bell Salon and Performance
Joshua Bell Salon and Performance
Happy YoungArts Awareness Day
Happy YoungArts Awareness Day
Alumni Chris Young at Nashville School of the Arts
Alumni Chris Young at Nashville School of the Arts


2014 PSA Winners
2014 PSA Winners

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the US Presidential Scholars Program, we would like to congratulate the 20 Scholars in the Arts, all 2014 YoungArts Winners, who were nominated to The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars by YoungArts, and selected based on academic, civic and artistic achievement.

The award, presented on behalf of the President of the United States, is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an artistically talented graduating high school senior. These talented young artists will showcase their work at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and at The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.

Please join us for free performances and exhibitions in Washington DC June 23rd and 24th:

Monday, June 23, 2014, 8:00 pm / A Salute to the 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars
An Evening of Performances by the 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts Directed by Bill T. Jones
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Concert Hall
2700 F Street NW, Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014, 7:30 pm / An Exhibition of Works
Exhibition of Artwork, Readings, and Screenings by 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts
The Smithsonian Institution, S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Drive, SW
Event is FREE. Seating is limited and on a first come, first seated basis, with priority given to Scholars & their families. Exhibition will be on view through August 7, 2014.

For more information or to RSVP please go to

Thank you for your support of the next generation of artists and the future of the arts!


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Organization Information

National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts

Location: Miami, FL - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Bohne Lipsey
Miami, FL United States
$26,861 raised of $50,000 goal
380 donations
$23,139 to go
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