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YoungArts to Premiere Newly Commissioned Short Films at OUTSIDE THE BOX Event

On November 5, 2016, the National YoungArts Foundation will premiere five collaborative short films created by YoungArts alumni as the season's first Outside the Box event, which takes place outdoors and is free to the public.

Each of the films are part of "Transformations," a new commissioning initiative celebrating YoungArts' commitment to its alumni and interdisciplinary collaboration in honor of its 35th anniversary. Through "Transformations," three YoungArts alumni from different disciplines work together to create a film from conception to production that captures the transformative power of creativity.

The world premiere of the films also will feature live performances by "Transformations" participants Katy Short (2013 Winner in Dance) and Joseph Webb (1996 Winner in Dance & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), as well as an artist talk back.

'"Transformations' marks YoungArts' first commissioning program, and is just one example of how the organization seeks to support artists at every stage of their careers," said Carolina García Jayaram, President and CEO of the National YoungArts Foundation. "Beyond space, time and resources to create a new work, 'Transformations' speaks to how the organization encourages cross-disciplinary collaboration and the exploration of often unexpected artistic connections."

The films, all approximately six minutes in length, address issues of identity, change, injustice and isolation. A trailer of the five films can be viewed below!


Created by Dan Frantz (2012 Winner in Cinematic Arts & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), Adam O'Farrill (2013 Winner in Jazz) and Devyn Tyler (2009 Winner in Theater & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), "Tyler" is set in present-day New Orleans, and tells the story of a young girl who is turning into gold. The metamorphosis triggers a mental conflict and strained self-reflection as the world around her responds to her physical changes.

"Variations on Breathing," a film by Pascal Le Boeuf (2004 Winner in Music and Jazz), JeanCarlo Ramirez (2012 Winner in Cinematic Arts) and Kate Vrijmoet (1984 Winner in Visual Arts), and featuring Katy Short (2013 Winner in Dance), asks "how can we embrace our true selves amid an ocean of false social constructs and unconscious biases?" Borrowing from Vrijmoet's "Non-Ordinary Reality" painting series and Le Boeuf's compositions for prepared piano, "Variations on Breathing" leads the viewer from the deep sleep of unknowing through a physical and moral struggle to free the self. Metaphors for transformation are explored through the lens of Ramirez's immersive cinematography, improvised movement, the shedding of aqueous skin, and the transition from full immersion in water to surfacing for air.

Created by Kira Bursky (2014 Winner in Cinematic Arts), Da'Shawn Mosley (2012 Winner in Writing & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) and Tatev Yeghiazaryan (2005 Winner in Voice), as well as Nick Ramey (2016 Winner in Cinematic Arts), "To and From" follows three artists who feel trapped in loneliness, isolation and dissatisfaction. Throughout the film, each character gradually embarks on a journey that leads to a united path of growth, which adds purpose to their existence, and allows them to become a part of something much bigger than themselves.

In wake of the country's social and political current events, "Hell You Talmbout" artfully addresses police violence, racial injustice and the Black Lives Matter movement through spoken word, tap dance and, most importantly, its impact from the perspective of the nation's youth. In the film, young dancers from Seattle's Northwest Tap Connection, a social justice-oriented dance studio, come together to confront the inescapable outrage that they feel living in a world plagued with injustices in the black community. "Hell You Talmbout" is created by Denzel Boyd (2014 Winner in Design Arts), Tyler Rabinowitz (2011 Winner in Cinematic Arts & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) and Joseph Webb (1996 Winner in Dance & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts).

"Solitude, Darkness, Light," a film by Kayla Briët (2016 Winner in Cinematic Arts), Thomas Carr (1982 Winner in Photography) and Isabela Dos Santos (2011 Winner in Cinematic Arts & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), blends abstraction and realism to explore the confluence of place, time, people and emotions. In the film, contrasting worlds take the viewer across time in search of new perspectives on the present, as experienced through the lens of sound, animation and imagery.

Future Outside the Box interdisciplinary programming on the YoungArts Campus includes a live classical performance directed by YoungArts Master Teacher Daniel Bernard Roumain and a dance performance directed by Yara Travieso (2005 Winner in Dance).

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 thousands-strong alumni network of 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; and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Doug Blush.

For more information, visit youngarts.org, facebook.com/YoungArtsFoundation
or twitter.com/YoungArts.


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