YoungArts 2021-22 Annual Report

Celebrating 40 years for artists

Letter from Our Chair

A story that began in 1981 continues today, and I am proud to say that over the last 40 years, YoungArts has stayed true to my grandparents’ founding vision while continually evolving to meet artists’ needs. In four decades, YoungArts has awarded more than 20,000 artists who have shared music that can bring us to tears, art that inspires a better world, poetry that can motivate a nation and design that changes the way we live. All the while, YoungArts has innovated and responded to artists as we strive to provide them with the support—space, funding, mentorship, professional development, and creative opportunities—they need to thrive.

I was thrilled to see this innovation honored this season by the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) when YoungArts received the William Dawson Award for Programmatic Excellence and Sustained Achievement in Programming for the quality and vision of our program design, audience building and community involvement efforts. This recognition was a reminder of the ongoing and increasing relevance of our work both within our industry and in the artist community at large.

This report provides a window into the work and stories of artists and the ways we’ve been able to impact their careers as they shape our collective future. Thank you to all who have made this 40th anniversary an extraordinary success.

Sarah Arison
Chair, Board of Trustees

Who We Are


YoungArts identifies exceptional young artists, amplifies their potential, and invests in their lifelong creative freedom.


A world that embraces artists as vital to our humanity.

Our Values

Our core values are excellence, collaboration, inclusivity, experimentation, respect and integrity. These concepts underpin our efforts to provide artists with space, funding, mentorship, professional development and community. We strive to incorporate and communicate them throughout all of our programs.

For many young people, applying to YoungArts may be the first step in affirming “I am an artist.” YoungArts is one of the only organizations in the U.S. that supports artists across 10 disciplines at all stages of development, beginning with the critical moment when they decide to pursue a life in the arts, and continuing throughout their careers.

2021-22 Year in Review

Artists Impacted 1


Paid directly to artists in grants, awards and fees for service


Different programs made available to artists 2


1Awarded funds, attended programs, engaged online, or hired to lead programs

2Including National YoungArts Week+, YoungArts’ signature seven-day program which offers 200+ workshops, classes and presentations

If you’re a YoungArts award winner and would like access to resources like these, visit YoungArts Post.

Competition Outreach Efforts


contacts in 50 states and Puerto Rico


presentations in 15 states reached an estimated 4,698 young artists


information session attendees with 2,127 additional views online


of information session attendees applied, 25% of those became award winners


young artists from 50 states and 25 additional countries applied to the national arts competition

Artists between the ages of 15 and 18, or in grades 10-12, are eligible to apply to YoungArts. Artists must be able to receive taxable income in the U.S.

Two new initiatives expanded meaningful outreach efforts to young artists interested in applying to YoungArts. 

Tap dancer Michael Dascomb, a 16-year-old from New Hampshire, tuned in to a new virtual information session about applying to YoungArts in the Dance discipline. Here he received key application information from YoungArts staff, got tips from panelists on what they’re looking for in an application, and heard stories from an award winner about their real experiences with YoungArts, all to help him confidently submit his application.

This offering was part of a new initiative in the 2021-22 season to provide discipline-specific information to young artists submitting applications to YoungArts. Each year, YoungArts works with thousands of partners to encourage young artists across the country to apply.

After applying, Dascomb was named a YoungArts award winner at the Finalist level and attended National YoungArts Week+ in January 2022.

2022 National YoungArts Week+ was inspiring, motivating, refreshing, encouraging, eye-opening, exciting, exhilarating, special and life-changing… It felt like the entire faculty and staff were there to guide, support, and ensure the best possible experience for the finalists… I certainly feel like I have grown in one short week.

— Michael Dascomb, 2022 Dance

new YoungArts award winners3

For a full listing, click here



Gender Identity

3Figures represent numbers of awards made in the 2021-22 season. One winner can receive multiple awards.

For additional accessibility options with readability of this data, please scroll down to the bottom for a text version.

During their award year, YoungArts winners have access to programming that supports individual artistic growth and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Kashvi Ramani (2022 Theater, Writing) took advantage of all the opportunities possible. In addition to participating in National YoungArts Week+, in March 2022 Ramani attended Process Intensive, a three-day, virtual, multidisciplinary workshop led by Darren Biggart, Torya Beard, Ayodele Casel and Peter Lerman that explored how artists balance collaboration and individual creativity. Ramani was also featured in the 2022 Honorable Mention & Merit Anthology + Catalogue and performed in the virtual public celebration on May 10 with her own piece, “Dodda in a Day,” along with supporting her fellow artists by volunteering as an actor in a peer’s screenplay performance.

YoungArts award winners represent the brightest young artists across the country.

One such artist, Stella Lei (2022 Writing), was named a YoungArts finalist, and following her participation in National YoungArts Week+, was selected for the Lin Arison Excellence in Writing Award, a $50,000 scholarship that the recipient can use to attend a college or university of their choice. Lei was chosen for this award by the National Selection Panel for Writing including Christopher Castellani (1990, 1992 Writing), who praised her “sophistication rarely found among writers at any age.” Lei also was named a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts in May 2022 along with 19 other YoungArts award winners. This honor is only available to YoungArts award winners at the Finalist level.

Supporting Award Winners Throughout Their Careers

Musicians Kevin Sherwin and Joshua Banbury tapped into YoungArts’ resources to pursue a collaborative album and take advantage of professional development and mentorship opportunities.

Kevin Sherwin (2012 Classical Music) worked with vocalist and fellow YoungArts award winner Joshua Banbury (2013 Theater, Voice) on a collaborative project titled “Deification Suite” that, in the artists’ words, “musically illustrates the emotional, narrative, and artistic connections between different traditions of ancient and contemporary India, Israel, North Africa and the Americas.” In March 2022, both artists applied for support though the YoungArts Creative Microgrants program and received a total of $5,000 to be applied toward development.

Each month, YoungArts funds $15,000 in creative microgrants to support artists’ professional and creative needs. All YoungArts award winners are encouraged to apply. Out of the 276 artists who applied in the 2021-22 season, 115 were funded for a total of $179,300.

This grant has allowed us to fulfill our musical vision to make the most of our opportunity as the artists-in-residence as part of the Julius Eastman Project.

— Kevin Sherwin, 2012 Classical Music

Sherwin was also selected as a reviewer for YoungArts’ Miami Film Festival Curatorial Residency, a program that offers young artists an unparalleled opportunity to work directly with festival leadership and support the film review process. As part of this program, Sherwin reviewed 10 films, presenting his recommendations at the festival in March 2022. Of the experience, Sherwin shared “The film festival was absolutely fantastic! It was my first experience being at a film festival as someone part of the staff/industry side, and getting to spend more time with Jaie [Laplante] and the MFF staff was just so special. I also got to hang out and talk a lot with the composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer, who was being honored, and learned so much! They were all very encouraging!”

Banbury, along with seven other artists, also participated in the pilot year of YoungArts’ Emerging Professional Artists Mentorship Program, which connects artists with mentors who provide advice and guidance in their chosen field and within the broader arts ecology. The influence that this program can have on careers is significant: following the program Banbury was recommended for a residency at Looking Glass Arts by his mentor Marika Hughes.

Visual artist Juan Jose Cielo was recognized for his futuristic and subliminal interpretation of the world.

Juan Jose Cielo (2015 Visual Arts) creates paintings, photographs and short films that grapple with the reality of the Latinx experience in the U.S. by using Latin American myth and folklore to envision a futuristic world. In recognition of his thought-provoking and insightful work, Cielo was selected as the recipient of the 2022 Jorge M. Pérez Award, an annual $25,000 unrestricted prize funded by The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation through The Miami Foundation.

In addition to the Jorge M. Pérez Award, YoungArts offers financial support ranging from microgrants to $25,000 unrestricted artist awards.

YoungArts award winners have the opportunity to be featured in exhibitions at the YoungArts Campus in Miami.

For YoungArts’ spring exhibition, an installation titled Home: Reimagining Interiority, multi-disciplinary artist Cornelius Tulloch (2016 Design Arts, Visual Arts & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) submitted work created during the first month of the COVID-19 pandemic that uncovers the blurred intersection of dreams and reality that we experience in isolation. Co-curated by Dr. Deborah Willis and Dr. Joan Morgan, both directors at the NYU Institute of African American Affairs, Center for Black Visual Culture, the exhibition utilized photographic and text-based artwork to explore—against the backdrop of a global pandemic—the significant ways Black visual narratives respond to the dynamic cultural, political, social, economic and intimate changes that have forced us to (re)interrogate previous conceptions of Blackness and home. The exhibition traveled to New York University.

Molly Joyce participated in YoungArts’ inaugural Artist Fellowship, a program that offers yearlong financial, networking and creative support to practicing artists.

As a YoungArts Artist Fellow, composer and performer Molly Joyce (2010 Classical Music) had the opportunity to expand on her work Left and Right, a performance collaboration with dancer Jerron Herman and director Austin Regan exploring the traditionally cursed and dark left side of the body and its relationship to the healing and beneficent right side. Joyce convened her collaborators in Omaha, Nebraska for a multiweek residency at the Bemis Center to workshop the piece in advance of its premiere at National Sawdust in summer 2022. Through the YoungArts fellowship, Joyce attended the National Performance Network’s annual conference (held virtually) to pitch her work to presenters, attend workshops and participate in discussions.

New in 2021-22, the YoungArts Artist Fellowship offers a full year of sustained creative support to two artists from performing arts fields. An evolution from YoungArts’ three-week residency initiative, this program provides artists the space, time and resources needed to prioritize deeper engagement with their work.

Roopa Mahadevan performed for a sold-out room at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater in New York.

Roopa Mahadevan (2001 Dance) is an Indian classical vocalist and crossover artist known for her powerful, emotive voice, versatility and collaborative spirit. During the 2021-22 season, she was one of four YoungArts award winners who performed at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater in New York through a YoungArts partnership. On April 24, 2022, Mahadevan sang pieces with guest artists from her crossover project Roopa in Flux for a sold-out room and received a standing ovation for the exhilarating performance. Offering opportunities like this to share space with collaborators and perform for new audiences on a renowned stage is just one way YoungArts supports the more established artists in the YoungArts winner community.

Following her performances at Joe’s Pub, Mahadevan supported YoungArts by serving on the panel to select the 2023 YoungArts Artist Fellows.

Shamel Pitts continued development of Touch of RED in preparation for a fall 2022 premiere.

Between August 21 and September 4, 2021, dancer and choreographer Shamel Pitts (2003 Dance) convened a group of dancers at Miami Light Project with the support of YoungArts and Miami Light Project to workshop Touch of RED, a piece that explores the allowance of Black men to soften, the power in vulnerability and the meeting point of two individuals, where the boxing ring is reimagined from a space of duels to one of duets. This technical residency was a continuation of YoungArts’ support of the project that began in 2020 with a YoungArts-supported creation residency at New York Live Arts.

Through a 2020 NPN Creation Fund Grant, the work attracted a prestigious group of co-commissioners including Jacob’s Pillow, CAP UCLA, Miami Light Project, New York Live Arts and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago who committed to presenting Touch of RED in 2022 and 2023. The piece premiered at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA in partnership with Jacob’s Pillow in October 2022, and had its Florida premiere at Miami Theater Center in November 2022.

Jennifer Koh won a Grammy for her album Alone Together.

During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jennifer Koh (1994 Classical Music & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) launched Alone Together, a project to support young composers as they faced hardship. The project offered monetary support for young creative professionals as well as moments of shared experience and community, both within the classical music network and beyond.

Koh, with YoungArts’ support, created an album inspired by this project and on April 3, 2022, she received the Best Instrumental Solo Grammy Award for the piece. YoungArts is proud to have been a commissioning partner for Alone Together.

Past YoungArts award winners returned to provide mentorship and training to new award winners, building a regenerative community of artists who support one another.

One such YoungArts winner is acclaimed jazz saxophonist and bandleader Javon Jackson (1983 Jazz). In addition to serving as Jazz National Selection Panel Chair, Jackson led 13 YoungArts award winners in Jazz and Writing through a workshop with award-winning poet, writer and activist Nikki Giovanni.

Modeled on their recently released album The Gospel According to Nikki Giovanni, Jackson and Giovanni led four 60-minute virtual sessions that created space for the potential that arises from deep listening between artists working in different artforms. Giving feedback and using personal examples from their storied careers, Jackson and Giovanni fostered an atmosphere of experimentation and collaboration, focusing on process rather than final product.

If you’re a YoungArts award winner and would like access to resources like these, visit YoungArts Post.


active users on YoungArts Post

2021–22 Financials



Contributions and other receivables$1,441,487$1,371,125
Prepaid expenses and other assets$339,642$411,023
Interest in charitable remainder unitrust$118,681$145,593
Property and equipment, net of depreciation$25,850,714$25,405,318
Total Assets$80,653,175$87,739,073
Liabilities and Net Assets20222021
Accounts payable$641,306$921,742
Total Liabilities$641,306$921,742
Net Assets
Without donor restrictions$38,052,462$36,042,435
With donor restrictions$41,959,407$50,774,896
Total Net Assets$80,011,869$86,817,331
Total Liabilities and Net Assets$80,653,175$87,739,073

The information presented reflects the consolidated 2021–2022 audited financials which includes both the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, Inc. (d.b.a. YoungArts) and the National YoungArts Foundation Supporting Organization. 

Thank You

Many people make YoungArts programming a reality, and we are grateful for the time, energy and experience you share.

Board of Trustees

as of June 30, 2022

Sarah Arison | Board Chair

Richard Kohan | President of The Board

Natalie Diggins | Secretary

Richard S. Wagman* | Treasurer

Derrick Adams

Doug Blush, 1984 Film

Hampton Carney

Linda Coll

Brian Cullinan

Kristy Edmunds

Bernardo Fort-Brescia

Jay Franke, 1993 Dance

Danielle Garno, Esq.

Rosie Gordon-Wallace

Michi Matter Jigarjian

Jason Kraus

Steven Marks, Esq.

Lauren Matthiesen

Michael McElroy, 1985 Theater

Dr. Joan Morgan

John J. O’Neil, Esq.

Glenda Pedroso

Victoria Rogers

Jean Shin, 1990 Visual Arts & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts

Zuzanna Szadkowski, 1997 Theater & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts

Sandra Tamer

Joseph M. Thompson

Maurice M. Zarmati

Trustees Emeritus

Armando M. Codina

Meryl Comer

Justin DiCioccio

Agnes Gund

John J. Kauffman

Dr. Ronald C. McCurdy

Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón

Desmond Richardson, 1986 Dance & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts  

Marcus Sheridan

*Denotes Trustee Emeritus

YoungArts Staff

2021–22 Donors

We are grateful to the many individuals, foundations, corporations and government entities that provided support for YoungArts programming during the 2021–22 season. Fundraising efforts were further amplified by two successful in-person special events: the YoungArts Birthday Party, which raised over $1.1 million (including in-kind support), and the YoungArts New York Gala, which generated nearly $1 million (including in-kind support) for YoungArts’ programming for artists.


7G Foundation / Michi and Charles Jigarjian

Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation

Sarah Arison and Thomas Wilhelm

Carnival Foundation

Jeffrey Davis and Michael Miller

Jay Franke and David Herro

Agnes Gund

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs

Northern Trust Bank

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Psycho Bunny

Rockefeller Brothers Fund

Sidney and Florence Stern Family Foundation

Sandra and Tony Tamer

Bruce and Ellie Taub

Truist Wealth



Hearst Foundations

Leslie and Jason Kraus

Ashley Longshore

State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture




The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation at The Miami Foundation

Podhurst Orseck, P.A.



UBS Financial Services, Inc.


Arnhold Family


The Batchelor Foundation, Inc.

Jill Braufman and Daniel Nir

Adriana Cisneros and Nicholas Griffin

Tracey Corwin

David Dechman and Michel Mercure

Natalie Diggins and Oren Michels

Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Gillian Hearst / Hearst Corporation

The Kirk Foundation

Kirsh Foundation Holdings

Steven and Oxana Marks

Reed Smith LLP

Graham Steele and Ulysses De Santi


291 Agency

California Community Foundation

City of Miami Beach, Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council

The Fine and Greenwald Foundation, Inc.

JP Morgan

Richard and Amy Kohan

The Maurice Marciano Family Foundation

Philip Margolius

Tarell Alvin McCraney

Miami Downtown Development Authority

Morgan Stanley

ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Slobodan Randjelović and Jon Stryker

Red Butterfly Foundation

Craig Robins and Jackie Soffer

Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine Farley

Andrew and Tarin Teno

Alice and Thomas Tisch Foundation




The Frances & Benjamin Benenson Foundation Inc.

DiMenna Foundation, Inc.

Edward Fisher

Robert and Cindy Friezo

Paul Fujii

The Hostetler/Wrigley Foundation

Omar Mangalji

Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation, Inc.

The Miami Foundation

Charlie Pohlad

Abby Pucker

Joanne Rosen and Amy Cappellazzo

Sheldon and Susan Schneider

W. Marcus and Mary Elizabeth Sheridan

Terry Soriano-Zucker and Jason Zucker

Troy D. Templeton and Miriam C. “Sissy” Templeton

Joseph M. Thompson and Alison M. Thompson

The Robert and Jane Toll Foundation



Eliot C. Abbott

Phil Aimé and Beth Braswell

HH Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz

Americans for the Arts

Spencer Bailey

Bal Harbour Village

Alec Batis

Lisa Benson

Jean Thierry Besins

Bloomberg Philanthropies

Jill Brienza

Dawn Burgess-Krop

Hampton Carney

Melanie Courbet

The Cowles Charitable Trust

Paula H. Crown

Laura Doyle

Craig E. Dykers and Elaine Molinar

Adriana Farietta, Deputy Director, The Armory Show

Dana Farouki and Mazen Makarem

Casey Fremont

Rachel Wagner Furst


Aaron H. Glickman

Rosie Gordon-Wallace and Roy Wallace

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Andrea Guttag

Adriana Herrera

K. Hovnanian Companies LLC

Adriana Keiser

Irene Kim

Sharon Kirkpatrick

Lisa Lee

Lisa Leone

Bernard Lumpkin

Kalista Mae

Jewel and Adam Malone

Davina Mazaroli

Matt Nielson

Natalie Norfus

Dalia Oberlander

Marta Olchyk

Toni Randolph

Pilar and Stephen Robert

Victoria Rogers

Clifford Rosen

Gaetan Rousseau and Khirma Eliazov

Amanda Ruisi and Bob Sorrentino

Lisa Schejola and Jeffrey Akin

Adam Shopkorn

Dee Dee Sides and Michael Weissman

Douglas Summer

Tuchman Family Foundation

Virtus Investment Partners

Richard S. Wagman

Alden Warner and Peter Reed

The Wisch Family Foundation

Randi F. Wolfson

Up to $999

Frederick Abeles

Amazon Smile Foundation


Ksheerja Batra

Alyx Beckwith

Juget Benjamin

Teresita Bermudez

Lynne Harris Bernstein and Theodore Bernstein

Randi Blanco and Edward M. Rosenstein

Jeremy Bokobza

Richard Bookman

Robert N. and Deborah A. Brailas

Thomas J. Butler III and Joanne Butler

Kara Cabrera

Allyson Callahan

Dejha Carrington

Monica Case

Tani Castaneda

Donna Lane Creasman-Downey

Aurelia V. Crews

Duke Dang and Charles E. Rosen

Anthony Dargahi

Leslie-Anne Dessources

Digest Publishing

Bonnie Dockter

Elaine Dondoyano

Sermattie Ejaz

Thomas Ericsson

Sherrie L. and James R. Evans

Mary Figueras

Everett F. Ford

Sharilyn Gant

Vanessa Gazda

Nancy Gelles

Michael Glickman

Joan and Paul Gluck

Angela Goding

The Goldbas Family

Patricia D. Goldstein and Dr. Jacques Goldstein

Susan Goodkin

Sarah Watson Gray

Judith Green

Danielle Haas

Lee Cohen Hare

Earl Heng

Lori Hepner

Michael D. Hermann

Timothy Hunsinger

Mina Iskarous

Jessica Cydnee Jackson

*Denotes in-kind support

Mary Jeffers

Florencia Jimenez-Marcos

Edward and Judith Joyce

Julie Ann Jurrjens

Khady Kamara

Eric Kami

Emily Kaplan

Kenny Karen

Meryl Kelly

V. Wensley Koch

Dr. Sophia Koen

Janet Krop

Alyssa Krop-Brandfon

Jessica Kuney

Michael Kushner / BABOON TO THE MOON

Alicia Lai

Jessica Lang-Segawa

Emma Lasry

Cathy Leff

Rebekah Lanae Lengel

Martha and Jeffrey Levey

Jorge Luis and Marile Lopez

Vinh K. Ly

Robert Lynch

Rebecca Mandelman

Felicia Marquez and Francisco Baixauli

Chandra Maye

Peg E. McCarthy and Scott M. Teeter

Carolyn McCombs

Margaret Meenaghan

Jay and Jennifer Mills

Mark T. and Sharon Nash

Robert C. Newman and Judi S. Prokop Newman

Michael J. McClaflin and Lyse Norian

Kristin Amy Olbertson

Alex Oliva

Option A Group

Derrick Ostolaza

Jon Pagac

Wendee Parker

Parlá Studios, LLC

Krystle Phelps

Joseph Philbrook

Ross Pivnik

Matt Pizza


Noah Rabinsky

Bahia Ramos

Jeri Rayon

Fulton Reaugh

Leslie Reed

Stephanie Renken

Desmond S. Richardson

Nada L. Ridard

Corey Robinson

Valerie Robinson

Ben Rodriguez-Cubeñas

Timothy C. Rogier

Scott Rothkopf

Jamie and Andrea Salsberg

Sandoval Plumbing Inc.

Carlin Sarmiento

Imani Saunders

Celine Sawiris

Martin Schultz

Hans Schuster

Vernon Scott

Janet Shein

Marlene R. Sholod

Franklin and Jessica Sirmans

Natalie Sokol

Sony Corporation of America

Deborah Spiegelman

Clifford Stober

Suzanne J. and Henry S. Stolar

Bonnie Su

Superior Knickers Inc.

Ty Taylor


Felette Thompson-Branch

Claire Traeger

Monty Trainer

Carolyn Twersky

Jessica Ventura

Very Good Puzzle

Yang Wang

Sarah and Robert Webb

Chris Weinberg

Robert L. Weitz

Amanda Bhalla Wilkes

Christopher Williams

Karen Williams

Ava Wilson

James Wilt

Marco Winer

Carole Witt

Tom Wyroba and Stacey H. Mancuso

John Yearwood

Gabriela Zaragoza

Mary Jo Zimmer, MD

Past Annual Reports

Text-Only Chart Data

2022 YoungArts Awards by Discipline

Classical Music: 173 awards (22.6%); Dance: 59 awards (7.7%); Design Arts: 27 awards (3.5%); Film: 29 awards (3.8%); Jazz: 96 awards (12.6%); Photography: 41 awards (5.4%); Theater: 43 awards (5.6%); Visual Arts: 51 awards (6.7%); Voice: 132 awards (17.3%); Writing: 113 awards (14.8%).

2022 YoungArts Awards by Demographic

Arab-American and Middle-Eastern: 4 (0.5%); Asian or Asian American: 264 (34.6%); Black, non-Hispanic: 70 (9.2%); Hispanic: 82 (10.7%); Multiracial/Ethnic: 62 (8.2%); Native American and Native Alaskan: 1 (0.1%); Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 7 (0.9%); Prefer not to Answer: 37 (4.8%); White, non-Hispanic: 236 (30.9%). 

2022 YoungArts Awards by Gender Identity

Agender: 2 (0.3%); Female: 459 (60.2%); Male: 283 (37%); Non-Binary: 18 (2.4%); Not Listed: 1 (0.1%).