National YoungArts Foundation Now Accepting Applications For Visual, Literary, Design and Performing Arts Competition

Press Release

The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) has announced that applications to become a 2019 YoungArts winner will be accepted beginning today, June 5, through October 12, 2018.

YoungArts identifies and nurtures the nation’s most accomplished emerging artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts between the ages of 15 and 18 or in high school grades 10–12. One of the most comprehensive programs dedicated to supporting and propelling young artists, YoungArts provides monetary awards of up to $10,000, opportunities to participate in its programs nationwide and engage with renowned mentors, the chance to become a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and guidance in taking important steps toward achieving their professional and artistic goals. Prospective candidates are encouraged to submit applications online at

Ameya Okamato, a 2018 YoungArts winner in Visual Arts and a 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts from Portland, Oregon, said, “The opportunity to work collaboratively with artists my age and learn from experienced master artists is invaluable. YoungArts encouraged and guided my social activism. It was the freest and most validated I have ever felt in creating my art.”

Artists may apply to any of YoungArts’ 10 disciplines: Cinematic Arts, Dance, Design Arts, Jazz, Classical Music, Photography, Theater, Visual Arts, Voice and Writing. YoungArts winners are selected annually through a blind adjudication process, and recognized at the Finalist, Honorable Mention or Merit level.

All YoungArts winners are exposed to professional and educational opportunities, including the chance to work with and learn from renowned artists in their fields—such as Debbie Allen, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Frank Gehry, Jeff Koons, Wynton Marsalis, Salman Rushdie, Rebecca Walker and Carrie Mae Weems—and are eligible to participate in one of YoungArts’ annual regional programs in Miami, Los Angeles and New York. YoungArts also offers a strong professional network of more than 20,000 alumni, as well as ongoing professional guidance and the opportunity to 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.), Baryshnikov Arts Center (New York), MoMA PS1 (New York), New World Center (Miami) and the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA (Los Angeles).

Each January, YoungArts Finalists are invited to National YoungArts Week, the organization’s signature program held annually in Miami, to participate in an all-expenses-paid week of intensive master classes and workshops with leading artists. Each evening, participants share their work with the public through performances, readings, exhibitions and screenings, and are further evaluated to receive awards of up to $10,000. Nominations for that year’s U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts—one of the highest honors given to high school seniors in the United States who exemplify academic and artistic excellence—are also made, as YoungArts is the exclusive nominating agency for this award.

“At a point when the future of arts education is uncertain in this country, our role in supporting and advocating for young artists has never been as important,” said Carolina García Jayaram, YoungArts President and CEO. “We look forward to receiving applications for our 2019 program from young artists across the country, and supporting the next generation of leading artists at this pivotal point in their careers.”

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, 2018)
  • Either a United States citizen or a permanent resident; and
  • Must demonstrate excellence in the visual, literary, design or performing arts.

The applications deadline is October 12, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

If students have any questions, they can call (305) 377-1140 or email

YoungArts Disciplines/Categories
The YoungArts application consists of 10 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)
  • Classical 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

2018 YoungArts Winners
Selected from the largest pool of applicants to date, 757 YoungArts winners from 47 states were recognized for their outstanding work across the visual, literary, design and performing arts fields. A complete list of the 2018 winners is available online at

YoungArts Alumni
YoungArts’ expansive alumni network of leading professionals includes 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); recording artists Josh Groban (1999 Winner in Theater) and Chris Young (2003 Winner in Voice and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); writer 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); choreographers Camille A. Brown (1997 Winner in Dance and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) and Desmond Richardson (1986 Winner in Modern Dance and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); and Academy Award winners Doug Blush (1984 Winner in Cinematic Arts) and Tarell Alvin McCraney (1999 YoungArts Winner in Theater).

About The National YoungArts Foundation
The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison to identify and nurture the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts, and assist them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development. Through a wide range of annual programs, performances and partnerships with some of the nation’s leading cultural institutions, YoungArts aspires to create a strong community of alumni and a platform for a lifetime of encouragement, opportunity and support.

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