As the quiet days of summer begin to wind down, and the back-to-school bell is about to ring, YoungArts is looking forward with much excitement to seeing the growing number of applications that will be delivered by the October 14 deadline, just two months from now.
If you haven’t yet started to process your application, now is a good time to begin.
Brown University student Phoebe Nir, 2010 YoungArts Winner in Creative Writing and a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, writes a note of encouragement:
I hear you’re thinking of applying to the YoungArts program, and I wanted to tell you my story and how YoungArts impacted me.
Throughout high school, creative writing felt like a phase that I would have to grow out of in order to function in the real world I was always hearing about; to aspire to be considered a writer in any place that wasn’t my bedroom was at best indulgent, and at worst delusional.
Then YoungArts happened, and everything changed.
The YoungArts program is open to all high school seniors or 17-18 year-old high school graduates demonstrating excellence in the literary, performing and visual arts. Winners are eligible for financial awards up to $10,000 and scholarships through the Scholarship List Service; once in a lifetime opportunities to participate in workshops with master teachers; and receive the opportunity to be nominated for the title of U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, the highest award that can be given to any artistically talented high school senior.
Does this sound like you, or anyone you know? If so, please visit the YoungArts website, www.youngarts.org to learn more about our program.
And the Nominee is...
Congratulations once again to Kirk Simon and Karen Goodman of Simon & Goodman Picture Company, whose nine-part HBO series, MASTERCLASS, has been nominated for an Emmy Award. NFAA co-founder and Trustee Lin Arison served as Executive Producer.
Each half-hour program documents the experience of a small group of YoungArts alumni working with a well-known artistic mentor. Episodes have featured Plácido Domingo, Julian Schnabel, Jacques d’Amboise, Frank Gehry, Olafur Eliasson, Edward Albee, Bill T. Jones, Liv Ullmann and Michael Tilson Thomas.
The Emmy Awards will be televised in September – stay tuned for updates.
Earlier this year, the producing team won an Oscar in the Short Documentary Film category for Strangers No More, about an exceptional school in Tel Aviv where children from 48 different countries come together to learn.
Michael Littig, 2001 YoungArts Winner in Theater, blogs about The Dadaab Theater Project, a small theater company he co-founded for the children of the world’s largest refugee camp in Kenya.
For the past six years, I have travelled three continents on a deep search of my own identity as an American theater artist. I have lived as a nomad studying shamans in the outer reaches of Mongolia and spent months living and working with survivors of war on the border of Somalia.
I wanted to learn, is theater necessary?
Is it as essential as water, food and love?
What is the magic of theater?
In these past six years and especially in the context of the Dadaab Refugee Camp, I have learned that storytelling, the theater’s oldest roots and heartbeat, is alive and well in the world. Like Odysseus and the many others who have come before, I have learned that stories will lead you home and uncover the truth. But I have also learned that the truth is often complex and difficult.
Max Schneider, 2010 YoungArts Winner in Theater
Few teens – or artists, really – would ever fathom being photographed, much less be in the same room, as Madonna. Yes, that Madonna. But for Max Schneider, he didn’t go out of his way to find her. His talent led him there.
Last year, Max walked into a casting for Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall/Winter 2010 ad campaign starring Madonna. A week later, Max was posing arm-in-arm with Madonna for world-renowned photographer Steven Klein. The ad campaign was released in August 2010 in 44 countries.
Born and raised in Manhattan, Max began performing at the age of three, and hasn’t stopped since. Singing and dancing for family and friends on his living room table, Max ended up on a Broadway stage. He began his professional career in the musical, 13, and that became the harbinger of the assortment of projects to come.
Shortly after 13 closed, Max was booked in a guest star role on Law and Order. He has also appeared on television shows such as One Life to Live and The View, and will be seen next year in Nickelodeon’s original TV movie, Rags.
Where are They Now
+Ryan McCartan, 2011 YoungArts Winner in Theater and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, was recognized with the 2011 “Best Actor” Jimmy Award, the National High School Musical Theatre Awards program. In addition to attending a week-long event in New York and performing on a Broadway stage with the other finalists, Ryan won a $10,000 scholarship. He has been accepted into the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA program.
+Rachel Moore, 1982 YoungArts Winner in Dance and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, is the current Executive Director of the American Ballet Theater (ABT). She was profiled recently by the Wall Street Journal about ABT’s plans to visit Oman and Cuba.
+Chris Young, 2003 YoungArts Winner in Voice and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, was on Good Morning America July 12 to promote his newest album, Neon, from RCA Records.
Happy Anniversary, YoungArts
Since 1981, YoungArts, the core program of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA), has honored over 16,000 artists with more than $6 million in monetary awards and nearly $84 million in college scholarship opportunities.
In honor of the 30th anniversary of our founding by the late Ted Arison, and his wife Lin, we will pay tribute here monthly to alumni from every class who have embraced the Arison’s mission to identify emerging artists and assist them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development:
2001 – Michael Arden, YoungArts Winner in Theater and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, is a stage actor, singer and composer who has performed in West Side Story and Big River.
2002 – Gerald Clayton, YoungArts Winner in Jazz and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2009 for Best Improvised Jazz Solo. The jazz pianist appears regularly at the Jazz Gallery in New York.
YoungArts 2012 Registration is open. Learn how you can benefit from our program.
Help us continue to invest in a future rich in culture…by investing in the future generation of talented young artists. Learn how
This month our guest columnist is singer/songwriter Grace Weber, 2006 YoungArts Winner in Voice and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, who recently was named President of the YoungArts Alumni Association and appointed as the alumni representative to the NFAA Board of Trustees.
and Fellow Alumni,
I am incredibly honored and excited to step into the role as President of the Alumni Association. Our previous president, Stephanie Waters, set up a strong and vibrant Association, and I thank her for her hard work.
Being affiliated with YoungArts means that art is precious and vital to you – and you work every day to uphold that idea in your own work or in appreciating the work of others.
Because the arts matter, we want to strengthen our focus on highlighting, bringing together and supporting YoungArts. The Association is working hard to make connecting with alumni easier than ever with a brand new “Alumni Only” portal on the YoungArts website, a place where we can post your shows, work, casting calls, job openings and “shout-outs” for advice.
You can help our mission by reaching out to alumni in your class. If you’re in the same town, set up a lunch or get together to view a performance or exhibition or other art happening – perhaps by a fellow YoungArts alum! I promise that one conversation with another YoungArts alum will spark more inspiration than you can imagine.
We are proud to announce the addition of four outstanding individuals to the NFAA Board of Trustees: Miamians Armando Codina, James Eroncig and Richard B. Skor; and Dr. Ronald C. McCurdy of Los Angeles.
With their unwavering support and enthusiasm, YoungArts will continue to bring its mission to the thousands of talented high school students who dream of making a difference in the arts.
YoungArts Week DVDs
Now on Sale!
Every year in Miami, 150 of the nation's most talented 17-18 year old artists come together for YoungArts Week. During this incredible week, the young artists perform or showcase their respective art forms.
For the first time, YoungArts makes this incredible experience available to you: we are pleased to offer 2011 YoungArts Week Performance DVDs for sale.
YoungArts has created DVDs of 2011 YoungArts Week so you can relive every performance as if you were there. From Voice and Jazz to Dance, Theater and the Chamber Music and Cinematic Arts showcases – all of these moments of the next generation of American artists are captured in their entire splendor.