National YoungArts Foundation Competition Open To 15- To 18-Year-Old Artists Across Disciplines

2019 YoungArts Winners in Dance Isaiah Day, Francesca Levita and Michael Edwards (Photo by Em Watson)

(Miami, FL) – The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) announced that applications for the 2020 YoungArts competition will be accepted beginning today, June 4, through October 11, 2019 at Approximately 700 of the country’s most accomplished 15- to 18-year-old artists will be selected through a blind adjudication process and provided with lifelong support through funding, mentorship, community, and creative and professional development opportunities.

“It is such a thrill to see the future of the arts reflected through the impressive applicants who apply to YoungArts’ annual competition each year,” said Sarah Arison, Chair of the National YoungArts Foundation Board of Trustees. “We are honored to support these young artists as they begin their lives in the arts, and at every stage of their career, as they go on to do great things.”

YoungArts winners are eligible for the following:

· Participation for Finalists in National YoungArts Week, the organization’s signature program held annually in Miami, which is an all-expenses-paid week of intensive master classes and workshops with leading artists such as Debbie Allen, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Frank Gehry, Wynton Marsalis, José Parlá, Salman Rushdie, Jeanine Tesori and Mickalene Thomas. Each evening, participants share their work with the public through performances, readings, exhibitions and screenings, and are further evaluated to receive awards of up to $10,000.

· Nomination of Finalists to become a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, one of the highest honors given to high school seniors in the United States, which includes presentation opportunities at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.).

· Participation in YoungArts’ annual regional programs in Miami, Los Angeles and New York, which allow winners to take master classes with renowned artists and present their work through performances, exhibitions and readings at top cultural institutions including Baryshnikov Arts Center (New York), New World Center (Miami) and the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA (Los Angeles).

About YoungArts | Dance

· Access to YoungArts Post, a custom online platform for YoungArts alumni to apply for microgrants, performance and exhibition opportunities; create their own profile to serve as an online portfolio of their work; post upcoming events for promotion; gain access to artistic and professional development content and engage with one another to foster professional and personal relationships.

· Fellowships, such as the Daniel Arsham Fellowship presented by the Ridinger-McLaughlin Family, which provides one artist with a $25,000 unrestricted award and yearlong mentorship with alumnus and contemporary artist Daniel Arsham; and the Jorge M. Pérez Award, which provides an artist with a $25,000 unrestricted award and mentorship.

· Residencies, such as the fall dance and spring performing arts residencies that provide time and space to develop work at YoungArts’ campus in Miami; In Process, a creative residency program that invites two alumni in different disciplines to create new work on the YoungArts campus; and the Baxter St Camera Club Residency for an alumnus/a working in lens based-art.

· Professional development opportunities, such as at UpNext: Symposia and UpNext: Focus, discipline-specific events designed for alumni looking to meet with industry professionals who can advise alumni and help advance their careers; Sundance Ignite, for which five alumni filmmakers have the opportunity to attend the festival, including panels and workshops with other young filmmakers; and Americans for the Arts (AFTA) Roundtable, during which selected winners participate in policy discussion.

· Additional performance and exhibition opportunities at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), PULSE Art Fair (Miami), Parc Space (Miami), and the YoungArts campus (Miami).

All winners join a professional network of more than 20,000 alumni including actress Viola Davis (1983 YoungArts Winner in Theater), visual artist Doug Aitken (1986 YoungArts Winner in Visual Arts), recording artist Josh Groban (1999 YoungArts Winner in Theater); musician Jennifer Koh (1994 YoungArts Winner in Classical Music & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); writer Sam Lipsyte (1986 YoungArts Winner in Writing & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); choreographer Desmond Richardson (1986 YoungArts Winner in Dance & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); and Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney (1999 YoungArts Winner in Theater).

2019 YoungArts Winner in Dance Jared Klegar (Photo by Em Watson)

“YoungArts encouraged, inspired and validated me back when I was named a Finalist in 1997, and I have stayed connected to the organization out of both gratitude and admiration, said Zuzanna Szadkowski (1997 YoungArts Winner in Theater & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts). “I have worked with YoungArts as a master teacher and a director and am a proud member of its Board of Trustees. Young artists should be lifted and nudged forward from the beginning of their lives, and artists toiling mid-career need to be supported, embraced and galvanized by their community. YoungArts does all of that, and it’s a wonderful part of my world.”

Njari Anderson, a 2019 YoungArts Winner in Visual Arts and a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts from West Palm Beach, Florida, said, “YoungArts is and will always be one of the most important experiences of my life. The community that exists because of the YoungArts program is unlike any other because it makes the dream of being an artist feel tangible. YoungArts embraces all the fears of going into a creative field and connects you with real people who have been in the same place and shows you what they have accomplished despite what stood in their way. I am glad I applied because the friends and future collaborators I have met are now an invaluable part of my life.”

Eligibility and Award Information

To be eligible for recognition by YoungArts, applicants must (1) be between the ages of 15–18 or in high school grades 10–12 (as of December 1, 2019) (2) be either a United States citizen or a permanent resident and (3) demonstrate excellence in Classical Music, Dance, Design Arts, Film, Jazz, Photography, Theater, Visual Arts, Voice and Writing. The applications deadline is October 11, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

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

Support for YoungArts is provided by the National Premier Partner Carnival Foundation; Design Arts Discipline Partner Arquitectonica; Visual Arts Discipline Partner Related Group; Jay Franke and David Herro; Sandra and Tony Tamer; and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

2019 YoungArts Winners

In 2019, 710 YoungArts winners from 44 states were recognized for their outstanding work across the visual, literary, design and performing arts fields. A complete list of the 2019 winners is available online at


The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison to identify and nurture the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts, and assist them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development. Through a wide range of annual programs, performances and partnerships with some of the nation’s leading cultural institutions, YoungArts aspires to create a strong community of alumni and a platform for a lifetime of encouragement, opportunity and support.

For more information, visit,, or


The DanceLand account is used for press releases, guest posts and other material not written by staff members.