Arison Award

The Arison Award is named for the late visionary, entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Arison, founder of Carnival Cruise Lines, who sought a comprehensive method to nurture and support young artists in America. In 1981, together with his wife, Lin, Ted created the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) and the YoungArts program. Since then, more than 20,000 program alumni have been named and even more young people are being encouraged to explore and pursue a career in the arts. The Arison Award, established in 2001, is given annually to individuals who, like the Arison family, have had a considerable influence on the development of young American artists. The award itself is a work of art created by New York City artist, Jean Shin, 1990 YoungArts Winner in Visual Arts and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts.

The 2015 Arison Awardees will be announced soon.

Past Arison & Alumni* Awardees: 

2014 Arison Awardees: Zaha Hadid, Pritzker Award Winning architect; and Rita Moreno, Academy Award Winning singer, dancer and actress.

2014 Alumni Awardee: Andrew Rannells, 1997 Winner in Theater, American actor and singer.

2013 Arison Awardees: Joshua Bell, one of the world’s most celebrated violinists; and Debbie Allen, American actress, dancer, choreographer, television director, television producer and a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

2013 Alumni Awardee: Adrian Grenier, 1994 Winner in Theater, American actor, musician and director. 

2012 Arison Awardee: Robert Redford, actor, director, activist, and founder of the Sundance Institute & Film Festival; and Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts.

2012 Alumni Awardee: Doug Aitken, 1986 Winner in Visual Arts, American multi-media artist.

2011 Arison Awardees: Bill T. Jones, a multi-talented artist, choreographer, dancer, theater director and writer and Michael Kaiser, President, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Adrienne Arsht, Philanthropist.

2011 Alumni Award: Kerry Washington, 1994 Winner in Theater, American actress.

2010 Arison Awardees: Liv Ullmann, Norwegian actress and director; and Alberto Ibargüen, President and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

2010 Alumni Award: Desmond Richardson, 1986 Winner in Dance and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, American dancer and co-founder and co-artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

2009 Arison Awardee: James Rosenquist, an International award-winning, world-renowned artist.

2009 Alumni Award: Raúl Esparza, 1988 YoungArts Winner in Theater, award-winning Broadway, television and film actor.

2008 Arison Awardee: Frank Gehry, world renowned architect.

2008 Alumni Award: Rachel Moore, 1982 YoungArts Winner in Dance, Executive Director of the American Ballet Theatre and former member of ABT’s Corps de Ballet.

2007 Arison Awardee: Dave Brubeck, American jazz pianist and composer.  

2007 Alumni Award: Allegra Goodman, 1985 YoungArts Winner in Writing and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, critically-acclaimed novelist and short story writer.

2006 Arison Awardee: Michael Tilson Thomas, renowned musician and conductor.

2006 Alumni Award: Vanessa Williams, 1981 YoungArts Winner in Musical and Spoken Theater, internationally renowned Grammy and Emmy nominated singer/actress. 

2005 Arison Awardee: Mikhail Baryshnikov, celebrated dancer, choreographer and actor. 

2004 Arison Awardee: Plácido Domingo, renowned tenor.

2003 Arison Awardee: Roberta Guaspari, inspirational violin and strings teacher in the New York City public school system.

2002 Arison Awardee: Jacques d’Amboise, one of the finest classical dancers of our time.

2001 Arison Awardee: Quincy Jones, American record producer, conductor, arranger, composer, television producer, film producer, instrumentalist, magazine founder, record company executive, humanitarian and jazz trumpeter.


*The Alumni Award, which was established in 2006 to celebrate the organization’s 25th anniversary, was granted through 2014 to past YoungArts winners in recognition of noteworthy contributions and professional achievements in his/her chosen art form.