Apply to the National Arts Competition

Are you a 15- to 18-year old visual, literary or performing artist?

The 2025 YoungArts application closes on October 17, 2024 at 8 PM ET.

2025 National Competition

Jul 11

Application Opens

Oct 17

Application Closes

Nov 25

Winners Announced By

Accepting applications in 10 disciplines

Competition Eligibility

To be eligible, you must be able to answer ”Yes“ to these statements:

  • I am either a citizen of the United States, a permanent resident or legally able to receive taxable income in the U.S. (i.e., have a social security number).
  • I am in grades 10–12 or 15–18 years of age on December 1 of the year I am applying.
  • If I’m selected as an award winner with distinction, this would be my first time attending National YoungArts Week.

1. Review the requirements for your discipline

Choose your discipline and area of focus to learn the specific requirements for your program. 

2. Start your application

The 2025 YoungArts application is hosted on Kaleidoscope. Once you have created or logged into your account, begin a new application by clicking “Begin”. After you complete your application profile, you will be redirected to the discipline-specific application. Your application is incomplete until you have answered the discipline/category questions. Pay the $35 application fee or request a fee waiver. 

3. Submit your application

The 2025 YoungArts application closes on Thursday, October 17, 2024 at 8 PM ET.

What's New in 2025

As we work toward a more easeful and equitable application experience for artists, the following updates have been made for the 2025 application cycle.

Application Period

The 2025 YoungArts application opens on Thursday, July 11, 2024, at 9 AM ET and closes on Thursday, October 17, 2024, at 8 PM ET. Please make special note of this year’s application closing time and day of the week, which have shifted from previous years. Application review begins Friday, October 18, 2024, and all award winners will be notified by November 25, 2024.  

Application Requirements

Requirements for all disciplines and categories have been updated this cycle with the goal of moving toward a more equitable application experience for each artist, regardless of the discipline and category in which they are applying. Use the dropdown below to check the current requirements.   

Application Info Sessions

Three virtual application info sessions will be provided this cycle, for parents (August 14, 7 PM ET), educators (August 21, 7 PM ET) and applicants (August 28, 7 PM ET). Find additional details and register to attend at our calendar of events 

Award Levels

As in the 2024 cycle, awards will be given at two levels:   

The YoungArts Award recognizes work that demonstrates exceptional technique; a strong sense of artistry; and a depth of thinking/performance that exceeds the level of peers at this career stage. YoungArts award winners receive a monetary award of $250.  

The YoungArts Award With Distinction recognizes work that demonstrates exceptional technique; a strong, sophisticated, nuanced, and clear artistic point of view; and a depth of thinking/performance that far exceeds the level of peers at this career stage. Winners at this level are invited to participate in National YoungArts Week and will have their work further evaluated for cash awards of up to $10,000. Award winners with distinction who attend National YoungArts Week and meet the eligibility requirements are also considered for nomination to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program 

Programming for Award Winners

The following programming will be made available to 2025 YoungArts award winners: National YoungArts Week in Miami (January 5-12, with Classical Music and Voice arriving on January 4, 2025), for applicants selected as winners with distinction; and YoungArts Labs in Los Angeles, New York City and Nashville, TN, available to all award winners by lottery, with preference given to those who did not participate in National YoungArts Week.    

All award winners gain immediate access to opportunities for funding and community connection. 

Further program details will be provided to eligible artists following the announcement of 2025 award winners. 

Why Apply?

Cash awards

Receive cash prizes between $250 and $10,000.


Mentorship by accomplished artists

We provide mentorship opportunities with accomplished artists to help award winners prepare for and navigate a career in the arts.

A lifetime of creative and professional support

YoungArts is more than an award. Artists access resources and opportunities at every stage of their development to support a sustainable practice.


A robust network

YoungArts award winners join a community of distinguished artists that provides a longterm, robust network to help artists at all stages of their education and career.


Nomination for U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts

Each year, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects 20 YoungArts award winners who attend National YoungArts Week as U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students who exemplify academic and artistic excellence.


National recognition  

The prestigious award gives emerging artists a headstart by demonstrating that they have received national recognition from highly respected artists in their field early on in their artistic journey.

Learn More

Register for an Info Session

Have questions about the application?