Online NewsletterJanuary 24, 2011 - 11:43am — Anonymous
30 Years & Counting
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. The roster of YoungArts alumni includes well-known names like painters John Currin and Hernan Bas ; actors Vanessa Williams, Kerry Washington and Raul Esparza; musicians Terence Blanchard and Jennifer Koh; multimedia artist Doug Aitken; writer Allegra Goodman; and dancer Desmond Richardson. Beside these luminaries are the names of the next generations of America’s artists who will shape our culture.
They are practicing artists, work in every business field and advocate for the arts. They perform in national venues like Carnegie Hall and share their viewpoints at roundtables at Sundance. 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:
1981 :: Terence Blanchard,
YoungArts Winner in Music, an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, arranger, and composer (including a Golden Globe film score nominee). Since 2000, Blanchard has served as Artistic Director of theThelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.
1982 :: Michaela Davis,
YoungArts Winner in Theater, a celebrity stylist, journalist and founding fashion director of Vibe magazine. A performer at heart, Michaela studied acting at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts as a National Arts Scholar, and trained at the Stella Acting Conservatory and the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.
1983 :: Elizabeth Kostova,
YoungArts Winner in Writing and Presidential Scholar in the Arts, the author of The Historian, the first debut novel to land in first place on The New York Times Bestseller list and one of the fastest selling hardback novels in the U.S.
YoungArts Week 2011
“Whom have I on earth to speak for me? I had best create another species, one apart. I will call him ‘artist.’ His will be the task to bring meaning and beauty to the world.”
The Agony and the Ecstasy, By Irving Stone
We are pleased to report that the arts are, indeed, very much alive and well…and in good hands. From January 9-15, 148 of the nation’s most talented 17 and 18-year-old artists, spanning nine disciplines, converged in Miami for life-changing artistic enrichment experiences, including workshops, interdisciplinary activities, performances, exhibitions and master classes with internationally renowned artists like Branford Marsalis, Barry Frydlender, Kerry Washington, Liv Ullmann and Pascal Rioult.
Each evening during YoungArts Week, students presented showcase performances, exhibitions and readings as part of an intensive adjudication process, with final awards ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. And, 60 of these Finalists were nominated for consideration as one of the 20 Presidential Scholars in the Arts.
For the first time in our 30-year history, select YoungArts Week performances were available for viewing live online from the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami.
The full list of finalists is available online here.
Actress Shalita Grant, 2006 YoungArts Winner in Theater and Presidential Scholar in the Arts.
Undoubtedly, Shalita Grant has accomplished more than the average actress since participating in YoungArts five years ago.
"Before YoungArts I didn't think my voice mattered," the graduate of the Baltimore School of the Arts said. "But after YoungArts I came to understand the validity of my place in the world."
Following graduation, she was cast and prominently featured in the Oscar-nominated documentary, Rehearsing a Dream, which chronicles the learning experience of all the national Finalists during YoungArts Week and aired on HBO. Last summer, Shalita appeared on stage in multiple productions of Shakespeare in the Park, the renowned series produced by The Public Theater in New York City.
Andrew Rubin, 2005 YoungArts Winner in Cinematic Arts, guest blogs as he reaches a professional milestone: production on his first feature film. Ride with Larry is the story of a retired police captain who has lived with Parkinson's disease for 20 years. The story resonated with Andrew, whose own father also has the illness.
In celebration of the next great generation of American artists, and the start of our 30th anniversary, the nation’s most prominent artists, community leaders, philanthropists and celebrities gathered in Miami January 15 at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts and The Historic ALFRED I. DUPONT BUILDING, for An Affair of the Arts Performance and Gala: Celebrating 30 Years of Discovering Excellence in the Arts.
This year’s gala was headed by gala chairs, Marian E. Davis and David R. Parker and Sandra and Stephen Muss. Once again, SunTrust was the title presenting sponsor and The Historic ALFRED I. DUPONT BUILDING was the venue sponsor.
Kerry Washington, Desmond Richardson and Christina DePaul
Three annual YoungArts awards were presented:
> The 2011 Arison Award to Bill T. Jones, who has had a significant influence on the development of young American artists. Jones is a multi-talented artist, choreographer, dancer, theater director and writer, has received major honors ranging from a 1994 MacArthur “Genius” Award to Kennedy Center Honors in 2010.
He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2009 and named “An Irreplaceable Dance Treasure” by the Dance Heritage Coalition in 2000. His ventures into Broadway theater resulted in a 2010 Tony Award for Best Choreography in the critically acclaimed FELA!, the new musical co-conceived, co-written, directed and choreographed by Mr. Jones. He also earned a 2007 Tony Award for Best Choreography in Spring Awakening as well as an Obie Award for the show’s 2006 off-Broadway run. His choreography for the off-Broadway production of The Seven earned him a 2006 Lucille Lortel Award. He has also worked with YoungArts alumni as a featured master teacher on HBO’s MASTERCLASS, where he worked with young artists to create an interdisciplinary work.
> The 2011 Alumni Award to Kerry Washington, an avid arts advocate and talented actress seen in the leading female roles in Ray, Lakeview Terrace and The Last King of Scotland. She has served on the President’s Commission on Arts and the Humanities and was honored with the Young Artist Award for Artistic Excellence from American’s for the Arts in 2005. Washington was a 1994 YoungArts Winner in Theater.
> The 2011 YoungArts Leadership Award to Michael M. Kaiser and Adrienne Arsht.
Mr. Kaiser is president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C and Ms. Arsht is a business leader and hands-on philanthropist. Through his leadership and her financial support, they have created Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative, a program designed to provide emergency planning assistance to struggling arts organizations throughout the United States.
The spectacular evening kicked off with a red carpet entrance and an outstanding interdisciplinary performance by YoungArts alumni from around the nation in the historic Gusman Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami. Following the performance, guests crossed the street to The Historic ALFRED I. DUPONT BUILDING for an evening of dinner and dancing with fellow arts patrons and the 2011 National Finalists, with a special presentation featuring the selected YoungArts alumni.
Where are They Now?
+Lucas Leyva, 2005 YoungArts Winner in Writing/Play or Script for a Film/Video, was mentioned in the Independent Film Channel’s “Best Music Videos of 2010” feature on its website. Lucas was ranked #10 (out of 300) for directing Miami-based artist Rachel Goodrich’s video for her single “Light Bulb.”
+Kerry Washington, 1994 YoungArts Winner in Theater, was recently featured in MTV’s “When I was 17” television series.
Earlier this month, Kerry received the YoungArts 2011 Alumni Award during An Affair of the Arts Performance and Gala.
+Daniel Cardenas, 2001 YoungArts Winner in Visual Arts, has been accepted into the 2011 Sundance Film Festival’s Short Film Program. His short animated film, Xemoland, was one of only four U.S. animated entries accepted (out of a record 6,467 submissions).
+Adrian Grenier, 1994 YoungArts Winner in Theater, attended a special event at the store that featured several products by sustainability-themed site, Shft.com, a project by the Entourage star in collaboration with film producer Peter Glatzer.
+Nicole Browne (Nicole Behaire), 2003 YoungArts Winner in Theater, has just completed “A Free Man of Color” at the Lincoln Center in New York City. The critically acclaimed play was praised for its unique plot and cast of characters, including the popular hip-hop artist, Mos Def, and renowned actor, Jeffrey Wright.
+Kelsey Kurz, 2006 YoungArts Winner in Theater, was a member of the ensemble of The Public Theater’s recent staging of Merchant of Venice, which starred Al Pacino.
+Santino Fontana, 2000 YoungArts Winner in Theater and Presidential Scholar in the Arts and Winner in Voice/Jazz, is starring in Roundabout Theatre Company’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway.
Naomi Fisher, 1994 YoungArts Winner in Visual Arts, and Andrew Hevia, 2002 YoungArts Winner in Visual Arts and 2003 YoungArt s Winner in Cinematic Arts and Visual Arts, are listed in the "100 Creatives" list published by Miami New Times.
Behind the Scenes
One of the most unique and exciting opportunities offered by YoungArts is the interaction between students and artists such as Jennifer Koh, 1994 YoungArts Winner in Music and Presidential Scholar in the Arts.
Recently, Miami-Dade County teachers and students had an up close and personal encounter with Jennifer, who was in town for a concert at the Adrienne Arsht Center. She also met with members of the YoungArts Miami Council, chaired by Jim Eroncig.
Save The Date
//FEBRUARY 26, 2011
“Presenting for Success,” Adrienne Arsht Center. Email [email protected] to
//FEBRUARY 6, 2011
“Flip The Switch” Creativity Workshop, location TBD.
Email [email protected] to RSVP
//APRIL 9-16, 2011
Baryshnikov Arts Center and Affirmation Arts gallery, New York City.
//JUNE 19 & 20, 2011
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
Message from the President & CEO
This month we reach a special and very important milestone – the beginning of our 30th anniversary year. How proud we are of the impact the YoungArts program has made – and continues to make – on the lives of thousands of aspiring artists in every corner of the country.
January is my favorite time of the year because I engage with the very best of the best during YoungArts Week. There is nothing more exciting than seeing our young artists in full bloom, and watching their energy explode as they connect and interact with the other talented artists from nine disciplines.
And now, for the first time, you will have the opportunity to experience that same excitement even if you were not present during the recent YoungArts Week performances. This year we provided live streaming on our website, but for those of you who were not able to join us in real time, we have posted the video recording here.
We've certainly come a long way in 30 years...and we have no intention of slowing down any time soon. Join us on our journey as we continue to discover a new era of excellence in the arts.
President & CEO
Thank You For Your Support
We are proud to recognize longstanding sponsor SunTrust Bank for their support of the YoungArts program and again as the Presenting Sponsor of the annual An Affair of the Arts Performance and Gala.
SunTrust believes that corporate philanthropy in the areas of culture and art, civic and community, health and human services, and education is essential to the growth of our community. Their ongoing contributions and community development in these areas are evidence of their belief in this corporate commitment.
We salute SunTrust for their generous and steadfast commitment to the YoungArts mission for more than 20 years and their belief in inspiring and encouraging America’s outstanding young, aspiring artists.
We Are Honored
Invitations like this one don’t come around very often, which is why we are so pleased to be part of Capacity Building: Miami, a new two-year program organized by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, with organizational support provided by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. The program, designed for a select few arts organizations, focuses on artistic planning, board development, fundraising, institutional marketing, programmatic marketing and strategic planning.
The first seminar was held January 14 and led by Michael M. Kaiser, President of the Kennedy Center (and co-recipient of the 2011 YoungArts Young Leadership Award). Representing YoungArts were President & CEO Christina DePaul; Vice President of External Relations Rebecca Gentry; and Board Chairman James M. Dubin.