MIAMI, FL (December 10, 2020) – National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) announces programming for the upcoming season with creative and professional development opportunities supporting YoungArts award winners at every stage of their careers. YoungArts’ offerings will focus on four key areas: free virtual programming for artists and audiences; creative development and presentation opportunities; community support, engagement and networking; and financial awards.

“We are thrilled to be able to continue and build upon our support for early career artists across all disciplines. The tools that we provide our award winners at every level will not only help them to thrive artistically, but also enrich their connections within the community,” said YoungArts Executive Director, Jewel Malone.

Programming will kick off on January 3 with National YoungArts Week + offering 2021 YoungArts award winners at the Finalist level, the organization’s highest award, the opportunity to participate in a week long virtual program of workshops and panels, opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration,  project-based assignments, and classes with renown guest artists in their fields who will provide insight, coaching and mentorship throughout the week. Guest artists for National YoungArts Week + include acclaimed visual artist Zoë Buckman; Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction recipient and bestselling author Edwidge Danticat; Grammy Award-winning vocalist and songwriter Lisa Fischer; Grammy and Tony Award nominee and Broadway actor Michael McElroy*; principal clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Anthony McGill; editor at large for special projects at TIME and photographer Paul Moakley; Grammy Award-winning film composer Nora Kroll Rosenbaum; influential graphic designer Paula Scher; and Emmy and Grammy award-winning audio engineer Patrick Smith*.

Typically an all-expenses paid in-person program, National YoungArts Week + has transitioned to be virtual and YoungArts has worked to ensure there are no barriers to participation during the week. Following the announcement of award winners, artists received a technical survey that identified materials, space, and other equipment necessary to participate. Any artist in need was provided with a National YoungArts Week + supply and equipment kit, including anything from computers and necessary software licenses to recording equipment and art supplies.

Following the week long intensive program, audiences across the country will have the opportunity to meet the next generation of artists beginning Monday, January 25 at 8 PM ET through six nights of free virtual public performances, writers’ readings and an exhibition, and through a digital anthology and catalogue available on

On Monday, award winners in Voice, ranging from classical voice to pop, will present solo performances in a virtual concert. On Tuesday, the Jazz musicians will present a virtual concert and the Theater winners will perform a new collaborative work. On Wednesday, the Dance winners will debut a new virtual performance directed by acclaimed choreographer Larry Kegwin and the winning films will be screened. On Thursday, the classical musicians will share solo performances and premiere two new works by winners in musical composition, followed by a culminating group performance. On Friday, a virtual exhibition of works by winners in Design Arts, Photography and Visual Arts, curated by activist, curator and co-Founder of Project for Empty Space, Jasmine Wahi, will open with a special event featuring the artists talking about their work. The week will close out with virtual writers’ readings on Saturday. A full schedule and additional details can be found here

Throughout the week, YoungArts will screen Together, a short film, a new animated film commissioned to help raise funds to support artists across the country. Bringing together artwork contributions from YoungArts award winners and notable guest artists, the celebratory film will include hundreds of one-of-a-kind digital frames that will be available for purchase to support YoungArts. For more information, please visit the Together Campaign page.

Following National YoungArts Week +, 60 YoungArts Finalists will be nominated by YoungArts to become a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, one of the highest honors given high school seniors bestowed by the President of the United States. As the sole nominating agency, YoungArts nominates accomplished artists to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, which then selects 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts.

Throughout the season, YoungArts award winners at every level will have ongoing opportunities to learn from notable guest artists and to participate in exclusive creative and professional development opportunities, as well as conversations and discussions to build artistic community and engage with their peers.

Highlights of the spring season will be a new virtual work choreographed by Desmond Richardson*, co-artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, featuring all 2021 YoungArts award winners in Dance; and an exhibition of Honorable Mention and Merit award winners in Design Arts, Photography and Visual Arts. 

From January through June, YoungArts will support the creation and presentation of works by YoungArts award winners past and present. The organization will also leverage its national partnership network to continue to support artists in their hometowns.

Social Sculpture, a multi-year collaborative project highlighting the power of art as a catalyst for social change, brings together a cohort of five YoungArts award winners collaborating across disciplines and time zones. The project, titled As Alive As We Re-member, will consider art’s capacity to heal both physically and spiritually. Participants include sculptor and studio artist Priscilla Aleman*, dancer/choreographer Amanda Krische*, interdisciplinary artist and academic Mev Luna*, visual and sound artist James Allister Sprang*, and tap dancer and choreographer Joseph Webb*. The cohort will be supported by three creative mentors throughout the two-year initiative: President and curator of the Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI) Rosie Gordon-Wallace, interdisciplinary artist Ann Carlson and contemporary artist José Parlá.

Created in partnership with UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance, The Choreographers’ Scores: 2020 is a rare look into choreographic practice. 26 choreographers have created handwritten instructions, drawings, or patterns as inspiration for a work to be performed in the future. These visual dance scores, indicative and specific to each artists’ style, will become part of a series of fine art limited-edition prints for sale only by the collaborating partners and the artists themselves. Included in the group of participating choreographers are YoungArts alumni Camille A. Brown*, Shamel Pitts* and Caleb Teicher* as well as YoungArts guest artists Kyle Abraham, Ann Carlson, Nora Chipaumire, and Rosie Herrera.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, YoungArts is activating and expanding its national network of cultural partners to better serve award winners where they live. YoungArts is proud to announce partners for the 2020-2021 season: The Betsy Writer’s Room (Miami, FL), Louis Armstrong House Museum & Archives (New York, NY), Baxter St Camera Club of NY (New York, NY), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (New York, NY), Nu Deco (Miami, FL), and Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater (New York, NY). These organizations join Fountainhead (Miami, FL), Jacob’s Pillow (Becket, MA), New York Live Arts (New York, NY), University of California Los Angeles’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA) (Los Angeles, CA), and The Watermill Center (Water Mill, NY). Through these partnerships, YoungArts is not only bolstering opportunities for artists, but also providing support to institutions serving YoungArts award winners and local communities of artists. Additional partners and related programs will be announced in 2021.

YoungArts is expanding its online platforms to enhance award winners’ ability to connect. YoungArts Post—a free, private, online platform designed to encourage past award winners to re-connect, share their work and discover new opportunities—has been enhanced with new chat and messaging functions, as well as a recently released discussion board for robust dialogue.

YoungArts has also partnered with MyWellbeing—a company that connects people to the right wellness experts and empowers mental health providers in their business and community growth—to offer a series of virtual wellness experiences and support groups that will be offered at no cost to YoungArts artists. Sessions with MyWellbeing for all YoungArts artists will be offered on the second Saturday of each month.  Additional sessions on the third Saturday of each month will be for BIPOC artists.

To help artists continue their professional development, YoungArts will offer a virtual version of Up Next, a program featuring talks, workshops and panels that help prepare YoungArts award winners for successful careers. Through Up Next, award winners receive critical input and feedback on prospective projects helping them to realize their next work.

YoungArts continues to expand granting and financial support of YoungArts award winners at all stages of their careers. All 2021 YoungArts winners will receive a cash prize between $100 and $10,000.

Launched in April 2020, YoungArts Emergency Microgrants, have been extended through June 2021 and are open to YoungArts award winners who are experiencing loss of income due to the cancellation of scheduled professional engagements or unexpected expenses related to COVID-19.  As of September 7, artists who have worked for YoungArts in the past three years, such as guest artists and panelists, are also eligible to apply for Emergency Microgrants. Through June 2021, YoungArts will award up to 25 unrestricted $1,000 Emergency Microgrants every month.

YoungArts has also increased project based Creative Microgrants committing up to $5,000 per month to past award winners. Creative Microgrants may be requested for expenses related to professional development or creative works-in-progress prior to the work taking place.

Microgrant applications are available via open call on YoungArts Post. Applications will be selected by a rotating panel of YoungArts staff and alumni.

National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison. YoungArts identifies the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary and performing arts, and provides them with creative and professional development opportunities throughout their careers.

Support for the 2020-21 YoungArts season is provided by Together campaign supporters, including Campaign Chairs Sarah Arison and Thomas Wilhelm, Jay Franke and David Herro, and Michi and Charles Jigarjian and Lead Sponsors Sandra and Tony Tamer. Additional support for National YoungArts Foundation programs is provided by 7G Foundation; Aon; Batchelor Foundation; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; Funding Arts Network; the City of Miami Beach, Cultural Affairs Program, and the Cultural Arts Council; Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; Northern Trust; Dr. Sidney Stern in loving memory of Florence Stern; Bruce and Ellie Taub; and Wells Fargo.

* YoungArts Alumni

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YoungArts Voice Performance at New World Symphony Center on January 9, 2017
YoungArts Voice Performance at New World Symphony Center on January 9, 2017