Just call us YoungArts

We’re kicking off the upcoming 40th season by rolling out a new look, launching a new website and officially shortening our name to YoungArts!

Formerly known as National YoungArts Foundation, YoungArts has been quietly preparing for this milestone anniversary season. As we look toward the future and imagine the next 40 years, we want to thank you for your ongoing support and for believing in the incredible power of artists.

“Anniversaries are occasions to reflect, celebrate and most importantly commit to the future,” said Executive Director Jewel Malone.“As YoungArts looks back at our first 40 years, we see the extraordinary artists we are proud to call YoungArts award winners and opportunities to do more for each and every one. The past year has brought into focus how important, and yet how vulnerable, artists are in the U.S. and we are working to ensure that all award winners can continue to rely on us for support to advance their careers.”

Developed by Paula Scher and her team at Pentagram, our new identity captures the spirit of YoungArts and its mission to identify, cultivate and support artists. Immediately identifiable, the new logo is held by a set of brackets, a graphic motif that conveys our mission––to identify a select group of emerging artists, bring them into a diverse and dynamic community, and stay with them as a support system throughout their artistic lives.

YoungArts Founders Lin and Ted ArisonLin and Ted Arison

Established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison, YoungArts was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization originally named “National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA)” to identify, encourage and reward emerging talent in all art forms. The following year in 1982, National YoungArts Week—the organization’s signature program—was held in Miami for the very first time, with finalists from around the country adjudicated in Dance, Music, Theater, Visual Arts and Writing from over 4,300 applicants. Following National YoungArts Week, the organization made its recommendations to the U.S. Presidential Scholars on the Arts Commission, and for the past 40 years YoungArts has been the only nominating agency for this high honor.

In the 1990s, YoungArts expanded its programs to include additional disciplines such as Jazz, Photography, Voice, and Film, and in 2014, introduced Design Arts. The national arts competition today now attracts approximately 7,000 applicants across 10 artistic disciplines every year, and in 2021, award winners hailed from 40 states, Puerto Rico, South Korea and Taiwan.

In 2012, we acquired the former Bacardi campus and changed our name from The National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts to National YoungArts Foundation. This shift also signaled the beginning of the most significant programmatic expansion in the organization’s history.

Today, YoungArts provides award winners—Finalist, Honorable Mention, and Merit Award levels—a lifetime of creative and professional development opportunities ranging from artist in residence programs to emergency microgrants, and professional development symposiums to presentation opportunities in Miami and in cities around the country.

To help ensure that all award winners have access to YoungArts program, opportunities are shared via YoungArts Post—a free online platform launched in 2018 where award winners can connect with their peers, share their work, and apply for opportunities offered through YoungArts or cultural partners.

For 40 years, YoungArts has empowered artists to pursue a life in the arts. We do not do this alone. We thank the many individuals, parents, educators, organizations and donors that have supported this vision, and above all, we thank the artists who make YoungArts what it is today: a foundation that serves artists.