By: Lily Birdt
The YoungArts scholarship program seeks to nurture talented young artists so that they may reach their full potential in their chosen field. This could be anyone working in the visual, literary, design and performing arts. The program is designed for artists ages 15 through 18 or in grades 10 through 12. Some of the program’s notable alumni include Viola Davis, Kerry Washington, Josh Groban, Terence Blanchard, Doug Blush, and many more. Winners are selected through a blind adjudication process by professional artists in their field.
“YoungArts winners receive valuable support, including financial awards of up to $10,000, professional development and educational experiences working with renowned mentors and performance and exhibition opportunities at some of the nation’s leading cultural institutions,” according to the YoungArts website.
Those in the program get the opportunity to work with artists such as Debbie Allen, Plácido Domingo, Wynton Marsalis, and Salman Rushdie. Not only that, but those in the program 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 is a publicly supported nonprofit, non-governmental organization. The campus is in Miami, Florida and was built in October 2012. Winners of the scholarship also receive a week of free schooling at the campus alongside other students in the same field. It is the organization’s national headquarters and is located in the Arts & Entertainment District.
“Applying for the scholarship was really easy, it took maybe two hours or less just because I had to scan PDFs and take pictures for each piece. I submitted ten pieces that had to be only a year old or younger. The first five pieces had to be based on a theme, while the last five had to be additional or support pieces,” senior Daniela Ayala said.
Ayala is one of thousands of hopeful teenagers who recently applied for the YoungArts scholarship program. She applied for the visual arts section, as she has been drawing for about nine years and painting for seven. The scholarship is something that would help her financially, and winning could potentially send her to art school.
“If I won I’m actually not sure how I’d feel, I guess excited for recognition I would get for my art. I do paintings for myself or to prove to myself I am capable of something. I’ve dedicated so much of my time into developing and practicing my skills,” Ayala said.