MIAMI, FL (July 16, 2020) – The nation’s leading arts competition for young artists is now accepting applications through October 16, 2020. Accomplished artists ages 15–18 years old (or in grades 10–12) are encouraged to apply online at All YoungArts award winners will receive financial awards of up to $10,000, opportunities to work with renowned mentors and leading artists and will become eligible for exclusive creative and professional development support throughout their careers. Applications are judged by esteemed discipline-specific panels of artists through a rigorous blind adjudication process. YoungArts 2021 award winners will be announced by the end of November 2020. Details regarding 2021 programming and mentors will be announced at a later date.

Sarah Arison, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said, “National YoungArts Foundation provides tomorrow’s artists with the support they need today. For almost forty years we have empowered young people to pursue a life in the arts so they can achieve their potential, including their ability as artists to impact society. As our nation faces extraordinary challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis, and the ongoing impact of systemic racism, we are aware of how keenly the world needs what artists can provide, today and tomorrow. For this reason, as we look ahead to 2021, we are expanding our network of support to better serve past, present and future YoungArts award winners and are strengthening our commitment to build a just, diverse and inclusive artistic ecosystem.”

Jean Shin (1990 YoungArts Winner in Visual Arts & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) said, “I strongly encourage all aspiring performing, visual and literary artists to apply to YoungArts. Since 1990, YoungArts has been a part of my artistic community. They have supported and amplified my work throughout the decades and it is an honor to remain connected to the organization and its illustrious award winners as an ongoing mentor to the program.”


The YoungArts award competition is open to artists (1) between the ages of 15–18 or in high school grades 10–12 (as of December 1, 2020) (2) that are United States citizens or permanent residents and (3) that demonstrate excellence in Classical Music, Dance, Design Arts, Film, Jazz, Photography, Theater, Visual Arts, Voice or Writing.

YoungArts is proactively making it easier for artists to apply. The YoungArts application, as well as the process for requesting a fee waiver, has been simplified. Audition and portfolio requirements have been updated to accommodate young artists working from home or the virtual classroom.  

The applications deadline is October 16, 2020 at 11:59 PM ET.

For application inquiries please call (305) 377-1140 or email


YoungArts awards are given in three categories: Finalist, Honorable Mention and Merit. YoungArts award winners and will have the chance to learn from notable artists and mentors such as Debbie Allen, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Frank Gehry, Wynton Marsalis, Salman Rushdie and Mickalene Thomas through an expanded program of online and in person programming. Award winners will also become eligible for additional exclusive creative and professional development support throughout their careers. 

Finalists who are high school seniors are further eligible for nomination to the White House Commission on U.S. Presidential Scholars. 

Award winners join a distinguished group of leading artists including Daniel Arsham, Terence Blanchard, Camille A. Brown, Viola Davis, Allegra Goodman, Josh Groban, Judith Hill, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Andrew Rannells, Desmond Richardson and Hunter Schafer.


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