The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts), the non-profit organization that recognizes and nurtures the nation’s most talented young artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts, has announced that applications to become a 2016 YoungArts Winner will be accepted from April 21, 2015 through October 16, 2015.

Young artists between the ages of 15 and 18 or in high school grades 10-12 (as of December 1, 2015) across the nation are encouraged to apply online here.

The YoungArts application consists of ten disciplines to which young artists may apply: Cinematic Arts, Dance, Design Arts, Jazz, Music, Photography, Theater, Visual Arts, Voice, and Writing. This year, YoungArts is launching Spoken Word as a category within the Writing discipline. As with all other Writing genres and YoungArts disciplines, the artists selected as YoungArts Winners in this category will benefit from life-changing opportunities at critical junctures throughout their careers.

YoungArts Winners are selected annually through a blind adjudication process and are designated into three categories: Finalist, Honorable Mention, and Merit. Finalists are eligible to participate in National YoungArts Week in Miami in January 2016, and all Winners are eligible to participate in one of YoungArts’ regional programs – YoungArts Miami, YoungArts Los Angeles and YoungArts New York – space permitting. In addition, Finalists and Honorable Mention Winners receive monetary recognition from YoungArts.

YoungArts Winners have the chance to work with renowned mentors, such as Marina Abramović, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Placido Domingo, Frank Gehry, Jeff Koons, Wynton Marsalis, Robert Redford, Rebecca Walker and Bruce Weber; receive cash awards of up to $10,000 (YoungArts has bestowed more than $12 million in monetary awards to date); gain access to significant scholarships (YoungArts has facilitated in excess of $60 million in scholarship opportunities in the past two years); be recognized as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts (YoungArts is the exclusive nominating agency for this high honor for artistically-talented graduating high school seniors); and perform and exhibit their work at some of the nation’s leading cultural institutions, including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.), MoMA (New York) and New World Center (Miami).

“I encourage all aspiring young artists to apply to our 2016 program, and hope that teachers, mentors and parents will help spread the word and support the talented young artists they know,” said Lisa Leone, Vice President of Artistic Programs for the National YoungArts Foundation. “We offer young artists the extraordinary opportunity to come together and learn from renowned leaders in their fields, master teachers and fellow emerging artists; share their talents with the public; and be recognized on a national platform for their accomplishments. Time and time again, I am amazed by the artistry of our Winners, and I look forward to seeing what this class brings.”

YoungArts Winners also become part of the YoungArts alumni network of 20,000-plus artists, many of whom have gone on to become leading professionals in their fields. Several YoungArts alumni have joined YoungArts in its effort to support emerging artists from around the nation by taking part in this year’s application campaign. The 2016 application campaign features artist Daniel Arsham; five-time Grammy Award–winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard; two-time Emmy Award-winning actress Anna Gunn; choreographer, répétiteur and former New York City Ballet principal dancer Philip Neal; Tony Award-nominated Broadway performer Desmond Richardson; pianist and composer Conrad Tao; So You Think You Can Dance Season 11 winner Ricky Ubeda; Emmy and Golden Globe Award-nominated actress Kerry Washington; and RCA Records award-winning singer/songwriter and Grammy Award-nominated artist Chris Young.

“YoungArts is a program all aspiring artists should experience, regardless of discipline,” remarked 2003 YoungArts Winner in Voice and U. S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts Chris Young. “My time there definitely impacted me and helped me grow as a musician. YoungArts is something I’m exceedingly proud to be associated with.”

Eligibility and Award Information

To be eligible for recognition by YoungArts, applicants must be between the ages of 15 and 18 or in high school grades 10-12 (as of December 1, 2015); either a United States citizen, a permanent resident or an international student studying on a student visa; and must demonstrate excellence in the visual, literary, design or performing arts.

All applicants have the choice to be added to the YoungArts Student List Service (SLS), a subscription service that provides college, university and conservatory admissions representatives with links to each student’s audition portfolio, providing them with important information about the student’s artistic achievements.

If students have any questions, they can reach programming staff at (305) 377-1140 or apply@youngarts.org.

YoungArts Disciplines and Subcategories

The YoungArts application consists of ten disciplines across the visual, literary, design and performing arts. They are listed below alongside the respective subcategories to which students may apply:
• Cinematic Arts
• Dance: Ballet, Choreography, Hip Hop, Jazz, Modern, Tap, World Dance (various forms)
• Design Arts
• Jazz: Composition and Instrumental (various)
• Music: Composition and Instrumental (various)
• Photography
• Theater
• Visual Arts
• Voice: Classical, Jazz, Popular and Singer/Songwriter
• Writing: Creative Non-Fiction, Novel, Play or Script, Poetry, Short Story, Spoken Word

YoungArts Week and Regional Programs

All of the year’s Finalists from across the nation are invited to National YoungArts Week in Miami each January, where they participate in a week of intensive master classes and workshops with internationally-renowned artists. Finalists also have the opportunity to share their work with the public each evening through performances, readings, exhibitions and screenings. During National YoungArts Week, students are further evaluated and awards of up to $10,000 are determined. Nominations for that year’s U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts — the highest award that can be given to any artistically-talented high school senior in the United States — are also made, as YoungArts is the exclusive nominating agency for this honor.

Modeled after the transformative experience of National YoungArts Week, regional programs across the country in New York, Los Angeles and Miami extend recognition, resources and opportunities to YoungArts Winners of all levels, space permitting. During regional programs, participants are further evaluated and are eligible for awards of up to $5,000, and can be considered for a U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts nomination for the following year.

2015 YoungArts Winners

Selected out of approximately 11,000 applications, 786 YoungArts Winners were recognized for their outstanding work across the visual, literary, design and performing arts fields. A complete list of the 2015 Winners is available here.

Carnival Foundation is the YoungArts National Premier Sponsor.

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