National YoungArts Foundation Announces 2020 YoungArts Award Winners

By: Nov. 26, 2019
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National YoungArts Foundation Announces 2020 YoungArts Award Winners

National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) has announced the 2020 YoungArts award winners-686 of the nation's most accomplished young artists from 40 States in the visual, literary and performing arts. Selected for their caliber of artistic achievement, award winners are chosen by esteemed discipline-specific panels of artists through a rigorous blind adjudication process. This year's award winners represent the top 9.5% of applications across ten artistic disciplines. YoungArts award winners gain access to one of the most prestigious programs for emerging artists in the United States in which they will have opportunities for creative and professional development throughout their entire careers. A complete list of the 2020 winners, all 15-18 years old or in grades 10-12, is available online at

"Every year I am reminded that extraordinary artistry is ageless and the 2020 YoungArts award winners-all teenage artists-have done it again. This group of emerging talent represents the inspiring potential of the next generation of artists. We look forward to welcoming them to the YoungArts community of leading artists and are thrilled to support their work from this early stage and throughout their careers," stated Board Chair Sarah Arison.

YoungArts awards are given in three categories: Finalist, Honorable Mention and Merit. Finalists are eligible for cash prizes of up to $10,000 and have the opportunity to participate in National YoungArts Week (January 5-12, 2020) in Miami, the organization's signature program providing artists with an intensive, weeklong and all-inclusive program featuring master classes, workshops and mentorship from leading artists in their fields. The 2020 master teachers include MacArthur "Genius" Claire Chase (1996 YoungArts Winner in Classical Music & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); Grammy-nominated Jazz vocalist René Marie; The New York Times best-selling author Joan Morgan; Tony-nominated actress Michele Shay; photographer, curator and educator Endia Beal; and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Doug Blush (1984 YoungArts Winner in Film). During National YoungArts Week, local audiences have the opportunity to meet the next generation of artists through nightly performances and an exhibition and writers' reading.

Finalists are eligible to be nominated to become a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, one of the highest honors given to high school seniors bestowed by the President of the United States. As the sole nominating agency, every year YoungArts nominates 60 artists to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars. The Commission then selects the 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts.

All 2020 YoungArts award winners are eligible to participate in the organization's regional programs YoungArts Miami (February 25-March 1, 2020), YoungArts Los Angeles (March 24-29, 2020) and YoungArts New York (April 21-26, 2020), each modeled after National YoungArts Week.

On July 1, 2020, following YoungArts' national and regional programs, the artists will join a 20,000-strong YoungArts alumni community and will receive ongoing support from the organization as they continue to pursue a life in the arts. YoungArts award winners are eligible for exclusive opportunities such as fellowships, symposia and residencies in Miami, Los Angeles, New York and abroad; presentation opportunities at major institutions such as Jacob's Pillow (Massachusetts), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.), New World Center (Miami), Sotheby's (New York), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance (Los Angeles) and the Watermill Center (New York); and the opportunity to work with directors and curators such as Derrick Adams, Deana Haggag, Bill T. Jones, Jasmine Wahi and Tony Yazbeck. They will also have access to YoungArts Post, a custom online platform for YoungArts alumni to connect, collaborate and learn about additional opportunities such as microgrants, cash awards that support expenses related to professional or artistic development.

National YoungArts Week | January 5-12, 2020

Each evening, audiences can experience the work of the next generation of artists through performances in Classical Music, Dance, Jazz, Theater and Voice, and a film screening at New World Center, as well as a writers' reading in the YoungArts Jewel Box, and a Design Arts, Photography and Visual Arts exhibition curated by Pérez Art Museum Miami Curatorial Assistant Maritza Lacayo in the YoungArts Gallery. In conjunction with National YoungArts Week, the organization publishes an anthology of works by the award winners in Design Arts, Photography, Visual Arts and Writing.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Performances will be streamed live on

Backyard Ball | January 11, 2020

National YoungArts Week culminates with the annual Backyard Ball. Presented by Harry Winston, this year's event will honor jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard (1980 YoungArts Winner in Classical Music) and conceptual artist Teresita Fernández with the Arison Alumni Award and Arison Award respectively on Saturday, January 11, 2020 in Miami. Blanchard received an Academy Award nomination for his composition for BlacKkKlansman and is a multi-Grammy-winning composer and musician. Fernández is a 2005 MacArthur Foundation Fellow and the recipient of numerous awards. Her mid-career museum retrospective, Teresita Fernández: Elemental, is currently on view at Pérez Art Museum Miami and will tour throughout the United States. The Backyard Ball will feature performances by YoungArts alumni directed by choreographer John Heginbotham, and celebrate Blanchard's and Fernández's vital contributions to the arts alongside the achievements of the 2020 YoungArts award winners, the nation's most accomplished young artists in the literary, visual and performing arts.

Support for National YoungArts Week is provided by National Premier Partner Carnival Foundation; National YoungArts Week Performance Partner SunTrust; Anthropologie; Aon; Arquitectonica; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; Jay Franke & David Herro; Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Family Foundation, Inc.; National YoungArts Week Preferred Hotel Partner Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay; the City of Miami Beach, Cultural Affairs Program, and the Cultural Arts Council; Miami City Ballet; Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; Dr. Sidney Stern in loving memory of Florence Stern; New World Symphony; Related Group; Sandra and Tony Tamer; Wells Fargo; and WLRN.


National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison. YoungArts identifies the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary and performing arts, and provides them with creative and professional development opportunities throughout their careers.

Entrance into this prestigious organization starts with a highly competitive application process for talented artists ages 15-18, or grades 10-12, in the United States, that is judged by esteemed discipline-specific panels of artists through a rigorous blind adjudication process. In their first year, YoungArts award winners, who represent approximately the top 10% of applicants, receive valuable financial awards of up to $10,000; presentation opportunities at renowned institutions; and the chance to learn from notable artists and mentors such as Debbie Allen, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Frank Gehry, Wynton Marsalis, Salman Rushdie and Mickalene Thomas in intimate settings.

YoungArts award winners are further eligible for exclusive opportunities including: nomination as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students; a wide range of fellowships, residencies and awards; presentation opportunities at major venues nationwide; additional financial support; and access to YoungArts Post, a free private digital network for YoungArts artists to connect, collaborate and learn about additional opportunities. YoungArts award winners include accomplished leaders in their fields such as Daniel Arsham, Terence Blanchard, Camille A. Brown, Viola Davis, Allegra Goodman, Josh Groban, Judith Hill, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Andrew Rannells, Desmond Richardson and Hunter Schafer.

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