The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, on behalf of the President of the United States, has just announced this year’s 20 Presidential Scholars in the Arts – the highest honor bestowed on the nation’s graduating high school seniors. NFAA serves as the exclusive nominating agency for this prestigious award.
Students, all YoungArts Week Finalists, are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.
They will be honored in Washington D.C. during a White House-sponsored ceremony in June, alongside the 121 academic scholars. The artists will exhibit their work at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on Sunday, June 19, and perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Monday, June 20.
For the first time ever, 14 of this year’s YoungArts winners from across the state of Florida and choreographer Yara Travieso, 2005 YoungArts Winner in Dance, are sharing the stage to present YoungArts Florida Celebration 2011, a FREE public performance May 15 that will showcase how collaboration across disciplines can strengthen an artist’s work.
Travieso also will present her newest dance collaboration, SET, which premiered at the New World Center on Wednesday, May 11 at 7 p.m. A second performance is slated for Thursday, May 12, also at 7 p.m. Several YoungArts alumni are featured in the production.
YoungArts Gold and Silver award winners spent a rewarding week in New York City April 9-16 during the annual In the Studio/Out of the Studio series. The students who participated in In the Studio performed at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in front of a live audience and exhibited their work at Affirmation Arts gallery. The students who participated in Out of the Studio performed for their peers at several area schools, including the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Queens. View a video of that presentation.
Miami is not only the happy home of the prestigious YoungArts Week, but also home to The Catch Collective, a group of young artists who exhibit every month in their own gallery in Miami’s art district. What makes The Catch different from other galleries on their street in Wynwood is that its president and exhibiting artists are all high school seniors.
It goes without saying that nature has instilled and cultivated inspiration in artists since time immemorial. Artists, in turn, foster with their works the values of hope and sustainability – so what better group of people to write about the beauty of our planet? This blog features poet Brett Fletcher, 1996 YoungArts Winner in Writing, who participated last month in the inaugural poetry festival, O, Miami.
Out of the Studio took YoungArts on the road to Brooklyn last month, providing Gold and Silver level winners the opportunity to use their talents as ambassadors of the YoungArts program. With an original production created especially for school touring, the Out of the Studio artists performed for students at El Puente Leadership Center and led a roundtable discussion with a selected group of El Puente artists that focused on creativity and self-expression.
Maria Dahvana Headley, 1996 YoungArts Winner in Writing
What do historical fantasies involving Cleopatra, Egyptian gods, classical monsters and Roman armies all have in common? One writer: Maria Dahvana Headley, whose upcoming historical fantasy, Queen of Kings, will be released by Dutton this month as the first volume of a trilogy. Maria is also the author of The Year of Yes: A Memoir, which has been translated into nine languages and adapted for television and film.
+Kevin Berlin, 1983 YoungArts Winner in Visual Arts and Presidential Scholar in the Arts, will exhibit The Secret Life of Ballerinas at Art Chicago 2011. Read more.
+Gerald Clayton, 2002 YoungArts Winner in Jazz and Presidential Scholar in the Arts, was the focus of an article in the Brattleboro Reformer, which called him “another rising star” in Vermont Jazz Center’s season-long celebration.
+Desmond Richardson, 1986 YoungArts Winner in Dance and Presidential Scholar in the Arts, has been selected as the recipient of the 60th annual Capezio Dance Award. The honor celebrates significant contributions to American dance by an individual, company or institution. Past awardees include Paul Taylor, Alvin Ailey, Merce Cunningham and Savion Glover.
+Kerry Washington, 1994 YoungArts Winner in Theater, served as Honorary Co-Chair of Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. on April 4-5. The special event was presented by Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts, in partnership with Ovation, the only television network dedicated to arts culture.
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:
1990 – Jean Shin, YoungArts Winner in Visual Arts and Presidential Scholar in the Arts, who is best known for her labor-intensive, sculptural process of transforming accumulations of cast-off objects into visually alluring, conceptually rich works.
1991 – Michelle Kim, YoungArts Winner in Music and Presidential Scholar in the Arts, a violinist who has been Assistant Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic since 2001.
1992 – Johannes Gamble, YoungArts Winner in Cinematic Arts, a digital artist and graphic designer whose work has been featured in films like Zoolander, The Love Guru and Austin Powers.
1993 – Viola Davis, YoungArts Winner in Theater, who has enjoyed a stage, television and film career, including an Oscar nomination for her role in Doubt; she will appear in a lead role in the much-anticipated movie, The Help.
Correction: Donna Lynne Champlin is a 1989 YoungArts Winner in Theater and Presidential Scholar in the Arts and is no longer performing on Broadway in “Billy Elliott” because she is expecting her first child in July. We regret the error in last month’s newsletter.
YoungArts 2012 registration now open. Learn how you can benefit from our program.
Don’t miss our spectacular May 15 event in Miami Beach — YoungArts Florida Celebration 2011.
Help us continue to invest in a future rich in culture…by investing in the future generation of talented young artists.
We are proud of YoungArts alumna, actress Kerry Washington, who joined fellow artists Alex Baldwin and Kevin Spacey last month for Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. to advance the importance of developing and sustaining strong public arts policies and to advocate for increased public funding for the arts and arts education.
Our young artists are proof that support of the arts is non-negotiable. Not only are they our cultural future, but they are our economic future as well. Studies show that the nonprofit arts and culture industry is an economic driver in communities, supporting jobs, generating government revenue and boosting tourism.
A few weeks ago we gathered our YoungArts Week Gold and Silver award winners in New York for a special week of activities called In the Studio/Out of the Studio. Among the highlights: performances for more than 1,000 students throughout the City, and live streaming online of their show at the Baryshnikov Arts Center.
It is through efforts like these, whether in person or via the newest technology, that YoungArts can truly make a difference on both an individual and national level.
YoungArts is proud to be one of the first grant recipients of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge, which supports our YoungArts Miami initiative.
To date, we have expanded regional programming in Miami-Dade County to include students in all high school grades. We have been able to engage students and teachers earlier; receive stronger applications from a more diverse pool; and elevate the level and frequency of participation in quality arts programming. The grant also is helping us complete the development of our national regional program model.
The Knight Arts Challenge is a five-year, $40 million initiative to help transform South Florida by bringing the community together through the arts. We salute Knight Foundation for its efforts on our behalf, and for embracing our common goal of providing powerful arts experiences throughout the country.