Every year the National YoungArts Foundation hosts their YoungArts Program, one of the nation’s most prestigious programs for high school students interested in the arts. And this Tuesday, the foundation is inviting all young artists to participate in their annual Young Arts Awareness Day, a self-described “nationwide initiative to encourage emerging artists to pursue their dreams of becoming professional artists.”
The Young Arts program—open to young artists from all over the country—is, in fact, a competition that is divided by discipline. Disciplines include classical music, cinematic arts, dance, design arts, jazz, photography, theatre, visual arts, voice, and writing. The competition is open to all teens ages 15-18 and gives them the opportunity to apprentice talented and accomplished individuals known as Master Teachers, who are professionals in their respective disciplines.
The program is widely recognized and has bred many notable alumni. In 1983, only two years after the foundation had been established, Academy Award winner Viola Davis won in the theatre discipline. Rachel Moore, who won the title in dance and became a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts in 1982, joined the American Ballet Theatre in New York two years later. Other names you may recognize include Kerry Washington, Desmond Richardson, and Tony Award winner Billy Porter. There are over 20,000 YoungArts alumni and many of them are still out and about trying to make an impact on the world through their beloved art.
How do you participate in YoungArts Awareness day? Well, for starters you can join the fun on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram using the hashtag #becauseofyoungarts. Additionally, you can make a donation to the foundation or purchase one of their limited edition t-shirts. Also, and perhaps the best recommendation of them all, is to apply for the program! It could very well end up being one of the greatest experiences of your life. If you know someone with a passion for the arts, tell them about what this foundation is doing for young American artists of all sorts and encourage them to give it a try.
The best way to apply for the competition is through the National YoungArts Foundation website, where you can learn more about the foundation itself, previous winners, and what is required of each applicant. There are three award levels: Merit, Honourable Mention, and Finalist.
Finalists will be invited to participate in National YoungArts Week in Miami once the first round of judging is over. They will then attend workshops to fine-tune their skills, and ultimately will put their talents up for display on a stage. It is also through the National YoungArts program that U.S. Presidential Scholars are nominated and then selected, one of the highest possible honors for young American students.
If you have a passion for the arts and want to display your passion to the world, YoungArts is definitely a chance you can’t afford to miss. The application window is open now through October 13. To learn more about the program and application requirements, visit http://www.youngarts.org/
By Robyn Forbes