My daughter, Annabelle, has been selected as one of 150 national finalists in the YoungArts competition. From Wikipedia, here is some info on the prestigious contest.
YoungArts is a talent-based scholarship program which honors and awards high school and college students, mostly American, for their prowess in the performing, visual and literary arts. The program is considered by many to be the most prestigious arts competition for young adults; it is also the exclusive nominating organization for the Presidential Scholars of the Arts. The foundation is headquartered in Miami,Florida.
Students chosen as National Finalists are invited to attend YoungArts Week in Miami, Florida, all expenses paid, usually during the second week of January. YoungArts Week provides the Finalists with a series of master classes, showcase performances, exhibitions, readings, interviews, interdisciplinary activities, enrichment programs, and final, live auditions which determine their award level. Each National Finalist is placed in one of six levels of excellence with a corresponding cash award.
- Gold Award: $10,000
- Silver Award: $5,000
- Level I Award: $3,000
- Level II Award: $1,500
- Level III Award: $1,000
The approximately 20-40 students chosen as Gold and Silver award winners participate in a second YoungArts Week in late spring. Held in New York, the week culminates in several performances of an interdisciplinary show.
YoungArts finalists are able to work with notable master teachers as part of both YoungArts Weeks. Past master teachers have included Edward Albee, Liv Ullmann, Frank Gehry,Placido Domingo, Vanessa Williams, Raul Esparza, and Mikhail Baryshnikov. On the YoungArts website, here are a few more master teachers.
Since 1982, YoungArts has also been the exclusive nominating organization for the selection of Presidential Scholars in the Arts to the Presidential Scholars Program, governed by the Commission on Presidential Scholars. Up to sixty YoungArts Week National Finalists are nominated to the Commission after YoungArts Week. These nominees submit additional candidacy materials to the Presidential Scholars Program and the Commission selects twenty YoungArts winners as the Presidential Scholars in the Arts.
The YoungArts Scholars in the Arts join 121 other Scholars chosen for academic excellence and receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC in June. There, they are honored by the President in a White House ceremony. The Scholars in the performing arts are featured in the Salute to the Presidential Scholars at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The works of the Scholars in the visual and literary arts are exhibited at a national gallery for the month of June, and this year the event will take place at the Smithsonian.
YoungArts also produces a production highlighting its Silver and Gold award winners in New York City each spring.
A documentary television series entitled Masterclass, in which program alumni are teamed with famous mentors, is in its second season on HBO. Part of the Miami experience will be filmed for this show.
In the past 31 years, YoungArts has honored more than 15,000 artists with $6.4 million in cash awards.
Notable YoungArts award winners include:
- Doug Aitken, nationally renowned visual artist
- Terence Blanchard, jazz trumpeter and film composer
- Viola Davis, Oscar-nominated and Tony Award-winning actress
- Raul Esparza, Broadway actor and singer
- Nancy Falkow, singer/songwriter
- Allegra Goodman. National Book Award nominated writer
- Kimiko Glenn, actress, currently Yoshimi in Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
- Denyce Graves, opera singer
- Lauren Greenfield, independent photographer and filmmaker
- Josh Groban, musician and singer
- Anna Gunn, actress perhaps best known for playing Skyler White on the TV series Breaking Bad
- Roy Hargrove, jazz trumpeter
- Jennifer Koh, violinist
- Jenji Kohan, creator of the TV series Weeds
- Alison Lohman, actress
- Nicki Minaj, rapper and singer
- Eric Owens, opera singer
- Jared Padalecki, actor currently starring on the television series Supernatural
- Sarah Paulson, film actress
- Andrew Rannells, stage and television actor
- Desmond Richardson, modern dancer and choreographer
- Ida Saki, dancer in season 7 of So You Think You Can Dance
- Max Schneider, actor and model
- Nathan Trasoras, finalist on season 6 of So You Think You Can Dance
- Conrad Tao, composer, pianist and violinist
- Kerry Washington, film and television actress
- Vanessa L. Williams, Grammy- and Tony award-nominated singer and actress
- Chris Young, country music artist