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YoungArts Application

The 2016 Application cycle will open in Spring 2015. To receive email updates on the application, including exclusive application tips and discipline-specific information, please complete the form below.

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2015 Application Cycle is CLOSED.


Thank you for your interest in applying to YoungArts.  We look forward to receiving your materials and wish you every success with your application!

Why Apply

YoungArts Winners represent a dynamic group of artists who go on to become leading professionals in their fields. Alumni are Oscar, Grammy, Emmy and Tony award nominees. They dance with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the New York City Ballet, and play in the Chicago Symphony and New York Philharmonic Orchestras. Their work appears on The New York Times bestseller list, at The Museum of Modern Art and in the Sundance Film Festival.

By applying to the YoungArts program you are eligible for:

  • Up to $10,000 in monetary awards
  • Exclusive U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts nomination
  • Master classes with world-renowned artists
  • Access to scholarships, career opportunities and professional contacts
  • Opportunity for works to be viewed by top artists in their fields
  • All applicants to YoungArts have the opportunity to learn about college programs, scholarships, summer programs and festivals through participation in the YoungArts Student List Service (SLS)

About YoungArts

YoungArts identifies and nurtures emerging artists ages 15-18 (or in grades 10-12) in the visual, literary, design and performing arts.  Winners in cinematic arts, dance, design, jazz, music, photography, theater, visual arts, voice, and writing are provided once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, significant access to scholarships and national recognition.  YoungArts ensures the nation’s most outstanding young artists are encouraged – at critical junctures in their lives – to pursue careers in the arts.

About the Awards


National Winners

Every year the country’s most promising young artists are selected from across the country as National Winners.   Last year alone there were 687 Winners chosen from over 11,000 applications from across the nation. These Winners have the opportunity to attend YoungArts programs which include master classes with internationally renowned artists, workshops, interdisciplinary activities, performances and exhibitions.  In addition, all YoungArts Winners join the ranks of our 17,000 YoungArts alumni and go on to the top universities and conservatories across the country to become leading professionals in their fields. 

Recognition Levels

Merit : Receive a Certificate of Achievement, a medallion, a Recommendation Letter and are invited to participate in regional programs.  The winner’s high school also receives an engraved plaque with the names of every winner from that school.

Honorable Mention :  Receives the same benefits as a Merit winner plus a $250 monetary award.

Finalist:  Receives the same benefits as a Merit winner plus an invitation to National YoungArts Week held in January for final adjudication to determine award designation (Level 3 $1000, Level 2 $1500, Level 1 $3000, Silver $5000, Gold $10,000).

YoungArts Programs

YoungArts Program participants enjoy the rare opportunity to take master classes and interdisciplinary workshops from world-renowned artists, such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Bill T. Jones, Marina Abromovic, Frank Gehry, Wynton Marsalis, Placido Domingo, James Rosenquist and other masters in a variety of artistic disciplines with the opportunity to perform and exhibit their works at cultural venues in each program city.

National YoungArts Week:  Our National YoungArts Week Finalists, spanning ten disciplines, converge in Miami for YoungArts Week held each January.  Finalists continue to be adjudicated during YoungArts Week by participating in master classes, performances, exhibitions, and interdisciplinary sessions.  Finalists who are graduating high school seniors also have the opportunity to be nominated by YoungArts to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Commission.

Regional Programs:  Inspired by the transformative experiences offered during National YoungArts Week, Regional Programs are designed to offer the YoungArts experience to as many Winners as possible from an ever-growing list of locations.  Presently, our Regional Programs are YoungArts Miami, YoungArts New York, and YoungArts Los Angeles.

How to Apply

Application to YoungArts is made through the completion of an on-line application and submission of an audition or portfolio. No references or academic transcripts are required. There is a $35 (non-refundable) application fee per category. Fee waivers are available. Applicants may submit in more than one discipline or category within a discipline. Please refer to the discipline and category guidelines for details.

Deadline for submission of both application and audition portfolio is October 17, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). No application will be reviewed unless a complete set of materials is submitted by the deadline.


Young artists in grades 10-12 or ages 15-18 on December 1, 2014 may apply.   International students who are studying in the U.S. on a student visa are eligible to apply. 

Audition Portfolio Requirements

Each of our 10 disciplines (cinematic arts, dance, design, jazz, music, photography, theater, visual arts, voice, and writing) have specific requirements for the audition portfolio.    Information on audition and portfolio requirements are available here.

Adjudication of Application Materials and Audition Portfolio

YoungArts has a rigorous blind adjudication process.  No identifying information on submitted audition portfolio materials is permitted. Independent panels of discipline specific adjudicators review all completed application submissions without any knowledge of the applicant.  Each submission is reviewed in its entirety by the panel members.  Following the review process, applicants from the total pool are selected as National Winners.

Notification of Application Status

All applicants will receive email and hard copy mailed notification of their status by December of 2014.

To download the 2015 YoungArts application poster, click here