A letter to the 2017 YoungArts Winners

Thursday Dec 29th, 2016

Blog > A letter to the 2017 YoungArts Winners

Dear 2017 YoungArts Winner,


In case you haven’t already, please take a moment to dance and jump for joy a little bit.
Good, glad we got that settled.
I’m Katerina McCrimmon, I was a Theater finalist in 2016 and a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Welcome to the YoungArts family! You’re truly in for the most artistically fulfilling experience of your life.
National YoungArts week is just around the corner and all I remember from preparing for it last year is that I was a nervous wreck. So, here are a few tidbits of advice and information to get you in the right mindset as you count down the days.
1. Breathe. You were chosen for a reason.
I know it’s easy to get in your head as you play the waiting game, but there is no reason to get anxious. YoungArts week is truly a time to embrace what makes you a special kind of artist. As you go through the week, appreciate what your peers have to offer and learn from them. You’re all so different and that is what makes this week so riveting.
2. Keep a journal during the week.
I cannot express how important it is to write everything down. You’re going to be having so many different realizations and enlightening moments - write them down so you can refer to them later! Also, it’s nice to write about each day so you can remember them clearly. I was always too tired to write when the day was over and now I regret not fully capturing those moments.
3. Make friends with winners from every discipline.
You’re going to be tempted to stick with the winners from your specific art form because that’s where the comfort lies, but DON’T! Artists from all over the country are going to be experiencing this week with you, get to know them! Some of the best collaborations start at YoungArts week. Just the other day I was catching up with a Cinematic Arts finalist and he was telling me how he was making a movie with a Dance finalist while they were in California together. Art is universal: you’d be surprised how much we can accomplish together.
4. The food is GOOD.
Enjoy it. I pigged out on those mini desserts.
5. Be prepared.
As a Theater finalist, I was given pieces I had to memorize and have prepared to work on during the week. In order to fully soak in everything that the week has to offer, you have to be prepared regardless of your discipline. You don’t want to be stressed during the week and you definitely don’t want to be thinking about what comes next in your piece while you’re doing it.
6 .Be open and unafraid.
Be yourself. Don’t try to change yourself during the week because you’re in a new environment. Make bold choices even if you embarrass yourself along the way. You never want to look back and think “what if?” Ask questions, make mistakes, feel free to look stupid! No one is judging, if anything you’ll gain a following.
7. Have fun.
I know you’re going to hear it a million times, but you’re about to have the best week of your life. You deserve it. Take it all in. The days will be long, but you’ll wish they were even longer (SLEEP - YOU’LL NEED IT).
I’m so excited for you! I have YoungArts withdrawals all the time, so take advantage while you still can.
Get ready for a wild ride. ❤︎


Join us in celebrating the 2017 YoungArts winners during National YoungArts Week by attending the performances and exhibition in Miami January 9-13, or live streaming them every night on our website