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60 Young Artists Have Been Nominated for 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts

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60 Young Artists Have Been Nominated for 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts

National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) today announced the nominees for the 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students who exemplify academic and artistic excellence. YoungArts is the sole nominating agency for this high honor and the 60 candidates, representing 16 states and nine artistic disciplines, are all YoungArts Winners. The students have been nominated to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program for their artistic achievement on the heels of the organization's annual signature program, National YoungArts Week, which concluded in Miami on January 12.

The candidate applications - all YoungArts award winners - will be reviewed by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, which will ultimately select 20 high school seniors to be recognized as U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts for their academic and artistic accomplishments, demonstrated leadership, community service and outreach initiatives, and overall creativity. In June, the 20 arts scholars will join the other 141 U.S. Presidential Scholars from across the country in Washington, D.C. for the National Recognition Program. During the program, all scholars receive a Presidential Medallion presented on behalf of the President of the United States and participate in several recognition activities while in Washington, D.C. The 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts will present their work at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts through a special exhibition and a performance.

"National YoungArts Foundation is honored to submit this year's 60 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts nominees to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars," said Sarah Arison, YoungArts Board Chair. "We are proud to continue partnering with the Department of Education to acknowledge our nation's most accomplished artists graduating from high school each year and to honor the sublime artistry and talent of each of the 2020 nominees, who have shown leadership and skill in their respective disciplines. We look forward to announcing the selected arts scholars this spring, and to seeing what all the nominees achieve as they move forward."


The 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts nominees are:

Name

City, State

School

YoungArts Winner Year and Discipline

Lucas Amory

New York, NY

Stuyvesant High School

2020, Classical Music

Ethan Anapoell

Aliso Viejo, CA

Orange County High School of the Arts

2020, Voice

Anthony Arya

Santa Cruz, CA

Georgiana Bruce Kirby Preparatory School

2020, Voice

Olivia Bigtree

Nedrow, NY

Manlius-Pebble Hill School

2020, Visual Arts

Caleb Borick

Charleston, SC

Homeschool

2020, Classical Music

Dusan Brown

Studio City, CA

Los Angeles County High School for the Arts

2020, Film

Juliet Burks

Los Angeles, CA

Palisades Charter High School

2019, Theater

Rush Carson

Key Largo, FL

New World School of the Arts

2020, Dance

Carly Chan

San Jose, CA

Leland High School

2020, Design Arts

Isabella Cho

Wilmette, IL

North Shore Country Day School

2020, Writing

Elli Choi

Tenafly, NJ

Tenafly High School

2019, Classical Music

Caitlin Chung

Beverly Hills, CA

Harvard-Westlake School

2020, Photography

Sage Croft

Windermere, FL

Windermere High School

2020, Film

Catarina de Luca Figueiredo

Coral Gables, FL

New World School of the Arts

2020, Theater

Laura Futamura

Middletown, NJ

High Technology High School

2020, Classical Music

Albert Gang

Irvine, CA

Sage Hill School

2020, Classical Music

Jonah Ginsburg

Dobbs Ferry, NY

The Masters School

2020, Design Arts

Dwany Guzman

Bronx, NY

Professional Performing Arts School

2020, Theater

Felicia He

Saddle River, NJ

The Brearley School

2019, Classical Music

Savannah Lee Henry

New York, NY

Professional Performing Arts School

2020, Theater

Meagan Hipsky

Guilford, IN

Homeschool

2020, Classical Music

Catherine Huang

Los Altos, CA

Lynbrook High School

2019, Classical Music

Esmé Kaplan-Kinsey

Petaluma, CA

Credo High School

2020, Writing

Dante Kirkman

Modesto, CA

Palo Alto Senior High School

2019, Writing

Nouhoum Koita

Brooklyn, NY

Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music, Art, and Performing Arts

2020, Dance

Maria Lakisova

Vernon Hills, IL

NorthStar Academy

2020, Classical Music

Jimin Lee

Dogok-Dong, Gangnam-Gu, South Korea

Seoul International School

2019, Writing

Youngseo Lee

Chandler, AZ

BASIS Chandler

2020, Writing

Jeffrey Liao

Livingston, NJ

Livingston High School

2020, Writing

Martin Mbuguah

Fort Wayne, IN

South Side High School

2020, Visual Arts

Ryan McCord

Dallas, TX

St. Mark's School of Texas

2020, Photography

Frances McKittrick

Brooklyn, NY

St. Ann's School

2020, Writing

Anne Mesmer

New York, NY

Laurel Springs School

2020, Dance

Sophia Mickelson

Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Pacific Ridge School

2019, Film

Oscar Montanez Garay

San Fernando, CA

Harvard-Westlake School

2020, Visual Arts

Destiny Moore

Miami, FL

New World School of the Arts

2020, Visual Arts

Marjan Naderi

Lorton, VA

Hayfield Secondary School

2020, Writing

Theodore Nissen

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles County High School for the Arts

2020, Film

Oluwasemilore Ola

Irvine, CA

Orange County High School of the Arts

2020, Writing

Mia Palomba

Lake Worth Beach, FL

Alexandre W Dreyfoos School of the Arts

2019, Design Arts

Andy Park

South Pasadena, CA

Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences

2020, Classical Music

Madison Perry

Woolbridge, VA

Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School

2020, Voice

Anoush Pogossian

Glendale, CA

Verdugo Academy

2018, Classical Music

Tyrone Reese

Mobile, AL

W. P. Davidson High School

2020, Dance

Benjamin Rossen

Great Neck, NY

Great Neck South High School

2018, Classical Music

Pablo Rubin-Jurado

New York, NY

Homeschool

2020, Voice

Mallorie Sievert

Jacksonville, FL

Douglas Anderson School of the Arts

2020, Theater

Vuyiswa Sigadi

Cedar Hill, TX

Emmett J. Conrad High School

2020, Voice

Pranav Tadikonda

Boyds, MD

Richard Montgomery High School

2019, Dance

Nicholas Turgeon

Greenville, SC

Wade Hampton High School

2020, Visual Arts

Akhilesh Vadari

Redmond, WA

Christa McAuliffe Art Science

2018, Dance

Kyle Ventura

Miami, FL

Design & Architecture Senior High School

2020, Design Arts

Sai Soumya Vytla

Mason, OH

William Mason High School

2019, Voice

Jacob Wachtel

Wilmette, IL

New Trier Township High School

2019, Theater

Jieyan Wang

Moscow, ID

Moscow High School

2020, Writing

James Webb

West Hills, CA

Chaminade College Preparatory

2020, Theater

Lydia Wei

North Potomac, MD

Richard Montgomery High School

2020, Writing

Maggie Wilkinson

Ooltewah, TN

Chattanooga High School

2019, Writing

Lucas Wurman

Los Angeles, CA

Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences

2019, Voice

Caroline Zhang

Chapel Hill, NC

Chapel Hill High School

2018, Visual Arts



The U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts nominees are actors, dancers, singers, classical musicians, photographers, filmmakers, visual artists, designers and writers. Once selected, the 2020 awardees will join an illustrious group of YoungArts and U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts alumni including Tony Award-nominated performer and choreographer Desmond Richardson; Los Angeles Music Center President Rachel S. Moore; novelist and National Book Award Finalist Allegra Goodman; Grammy Award-nominated violinist Jennifer Koh; Tony Award-winning actor Santino Fontana; and RCA Records award-winning singer-songwriter and Grammy Award-nominated artist Chris Young.

The 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and details regarding the National Recognition Program will be announced in the coming months. For additional information, please visit: http://www.ed.gov/psp


The first step to becoming a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts is to apply to National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts), which is the nominating agency for this honor. To be eligible for the YoungArts program, applicants must be 15-18 years old or in high school grades 10-12. To be further considered for a nomination as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, applicants must be high school seniors and meet all of the U.S. Presidential Scholars requirements.

YoungArts winners demonstrating excellence in the visual, literary and performing arts are selected annually through a blind adjudication process. This year, 686 YoungArts winners were selected. In January, approximately 153 Finalists from across the nation were invited to National YoungArts Week in Miami, where they participated in a week of intensive master classes and workshops with internationally renowned artists, and shared their work through performances, readings, exhibitions and screenings that were open to the public.

During National YoungArts Week, eligible participants are further evaluated, award levels are determined, and nominations are made for that year's U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts candidates. After a rigorous selection process, YoungArts nominates 60 candidates for an invitation to apply to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Finally, the Commission on Presidential Scholars selects 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts each year.

In 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established by executive order of President Lyndon B. Johnson to recognize and honor the nation's top graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrated talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

Scholars are selected annually by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, appointed by the President, based on academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and writing ability. This year, over 5,000 candidates qualified for the 2020 program determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, or other partner recognition programs or the National YoungArts Foundation.

Since its inception, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 7,500 of the nation's high-performing students. During the National Recognition Program, scholars are flown to D.C. to receive a Presidential Medallion, which is given to honorees during the annual ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The 161 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education.



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