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YoungArts Awareness Day Kicks Off National YoungArts Foundation's 2016-17 Season

On Tuesday, September 27th, the National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) kicked off its 2016-2017 season with the third annual YoungArts Awareness Day, promoting the arts as a viable and rewarding career path, and celebrating the outstanding achievements of artists across the nation, many of whom are YoungArts alumni.

Taking place each year on the heels of National Arts in Education Week, the day also serves as a platform for acclaimed YoungArts alumni to inspire emerging artists to apply to the organization's 2017 program by October 14, 2016 at www.youngarts.org/apply.

Festivities began in Miami, where YoungArts is headquartered, with a celebratory free reception for the opening of MouthWater, a special exhibition of works by an extraordinary cross-section of visual arts, design and photography alumni curated by renowned sculptor, YoungArts panelist and master teacher Robert Chambers. The exhibition features established artists such as Nicole Eisenman (1983 Winner in Visual Arts), Naomi Fisher (1994 Winner in Visual Arts) and Hernan Bas (1996 Winner in Photography and Visual Arts), as well as recent YoungArts winners and emerging talent, including Sebastian Ruiz (2014 Winner in Visual Arts), MikAyla Brown (2015 Winner in Visual Arts) and Nadia Wolff (2016 Winner in Design, Visual Arts and a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), among others. MouthWater is on view through November 21, 2016 and offers a unique opportunity to experience longstanding artistic practices alongside a new wave of creative expression, and highlights YoungArts' role as a platform for dynamic dialogue between artists across generations.

During the exhibition's opening reception, YoungArts President & CEO Carolina Garcia Jayaram announced that the Related Group will lend its expertise and support to YoungArts' Visual Arts discipline. In addition to a financial contribution, Related will lead a master class during YoungArts Miami, the organization's regional program, around the presence of art in public and private spaces, with insights on commissioning work, corporate collecting and the curatorial process.

In Washington, DC, award-winning tap dancer Caleb Teicher (2011 YoungArts Winner in Dance) directed an interdisciplinary performance at Millennium Stage at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in which five emerging artists, all YoungArts alumni, presented A Very Brief History of the United States-a whirlwind experience of our nation's watershed moments, from the Revolutionary War, to the birth of jazz, to the Civil Rights Movement and modern politics. Together, the artists worked across artistic mediums to celebrate the power of improvisation, creativity and collaboration. Participants Julius Rodriguez (2014 Winner in Jazz), Alex de Castro (2013 Winner in Voice), Josh Dietz (2014, Winner in Visual Arts) and Eliana Pipes (2015 Winner Writing), in addition to Caleb Teicher himself, performed for an audience of more than 135 people.

Additionally, throughout the day the public was encouraged to share their own creative inspiration and passion for the arts using the hashtags #myartstory and #youngarts. The resulting posts across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter reached more than 1.6 million people.

For more information, visit youngarts.org/youngarts-awareness-day.

Applications to become a 2017 YoungArts Winner will be accepted through October 14, 2016. Young artists between the ages of 15 and 18 or in high school grades 10-12 (as of December 1, 2015) across the nation are encouraged to apply online at www.youngarts.org/apply.

The YoungArts application consists of ten disciplines to which young artists may apply: Cinematic Arts, Dance, Design Arts, Jazz, Classical Music, Photography, Theater, Visual Arts, Voice, and Writing.

YoungArts Winners are selected annually through a blind adjudication process and are designated into three categories: Finalist, Honorable Mention, and Merit. Finalists are eligible to participate in National YoungArts Week in Miami in January 2017, and all Winners are eligible to participate in one of YoungArts' regional programs - YoungArts Miami, YoungArts Los Angeles and YoungArts New York - space permitting. In addition, Finalists and Honorable Mention Winners receive monetary recognition from YoungArts.

The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison to identify and nurture the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts, and assist them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development. Through a wide range of annual programs, regular performances, and partnerships with some of the nation's leading cultural institutions, YoungArts aspires to create a strong community of alumni and a platform for a lifetime of encouragement, opportunity and support.

YoungArts' signature program is an application-based award for emerging artists ages 15 - 18 or in grades 10 - 12 from across the United States. Selected from a pool of more than an average of 11,000 applications (in 2015, the organization received a record-breaking number of more than 12,000 applications), YoungArts Winners receive valuable support, including financial awards of up to $10,000, professional development and educational experiences working with renowned mentors-such as Debbie Allen, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rebecca Walker, Plácido Domingo, Frank Gehry, Jeff Koons, Wynton Marsalis, Salman Rushdie and Carrie Mae Weems-and performance and exhibition opportunities at some of the nation's leading cultural institutions, including The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), The Museum of Modern Art (New York) and New World Center (Miami). Additionally, YoungArts Winners are eligible for nomination as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students who exemplify academic and artistic excellence.

YoungArts Winners become part of a network of over 20,000 alumni artists, which offers them additional professional opportunities throughout their careers. YoungArts alumni who have gone on to become leading professionals in their fields include actresses Viola Davis, Anna Gunn, Zuzanna Szadkowski and Kerry Washington; Broadway stars Raúl Esparza, Billy Porter, Andrew Rannells and Tony Yazbeck; recording artists Josh Groban, Judith Hill and Chris Young; Metropolitan Opera star Eric Owens; musicians Terence Blanchard, Gerald Clayton, Jennifer Koh and Elizabeth Roe; choreographers Camille A. Brown and Desmond Richardson; visual artists Daniel Arsham and Hernan Bas; internationally acclaimed multimedia artist Doug Aitken; New York Times bestselling author Sam Lipsyte; MacArthur "Genius" Fellow Tarell McCraney, and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Doug Blush.

For more information, visit youngarts.org, facebook.com/YoungArtsFoundation or twitter.com/YoungArts. To watch a brief video about YoungArts, click here.


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