YoungArts Announces 2018 Winners: 757 Young Artists Across 47 States


2018 YoungArts Winners from 
47 States Across the Nation to Receive Cash Awards,
Mentorship and Professional Development Opportunities

Finalists to Participate in National YoungArts Week in Miami, January 7–14, 2018

YoungArts Announces 2018 Winners: 757 Young Artists Across 47 States
MIAMI, FL (November 29, 2017) – The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) is proud to announce the 2018 YoungArts winners—757 of the nation’s most promising young artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts. Selected from the most competitive pool of applications to date and representing artists from 47 states, YoungArts winners gain access to one of the most comprehensive programs for emerging artists in the United States, offering financial, professional and artistic development opportunities over the course of their careers. A complete list of the 2018 winners, all 15–18 years old or in grades 10–12, is available online at

The 2018 winners will receive cash prizes of up to $10,000; opportunities to share their work with the public at renowned institutions such as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Sotheby’s (New York) and New World Center (Miami); and access to mentors including Academy Award-winning director, producer, editor, writer and cinematographer Doug Blush; award-winning photographer Corinne May Botz; three-time New York Dance and Performance Awardee Nora Chipaumire; award-winning visual artist Teresita Fernández; Grammy-award winning vocalist and songwriter Lisa Fischer; best-selling authors Michael Grunwald and Kristen Simmons; acclaimed violinistCorin Lee; award-winning journalist, author, and provocative cultural critic Joan Morgan; American stage and television actress Karen Olivo; critically acclaimed pianist Elizabeth Joy Roe; multi-Grammy nominated artist Patrice Rushen; and nine-time Grammy winner and a 17-time Grammy nominee Janis Siegel among many others.

“YoungArts congratulates all of the 2018 winners. This extraordinary group of young artists represents the vibrancy of our culture for years to come and we look forward to supporting and encouraging them at key junctures in their careers,” stated Carolina García Jayaram, YoungArts’ President and CEO. “I applaud all of our extraordinary panelists in making this year’s selection, one of the most competitive in YoungArts’ history.”

Selected through a blind adjudication process conducted by an independent panel of highly accomplished artists, the 2018 winners represent the top 10 percent of applications. Of this year’s 757 winners, some have been awarded for excellence in multiple disciplines at various levels.  Altogether, 781 awards have been attributed: 171 have been named Finalists, the organization’s highest honor; 270 are Honorable Mentions and 340 are Merit winners.

All winners are eligible to participate in YoungArts’ regional programs, including YoungArts Miami (February 20–25, 2018), YoungArts Los Angeles (March 24–29, 2018) and YoungArts New York (April 24–29, 2018), and will join a professional network of distinguished artists. This year’s Finalists have the opportunity to participate in the 37th annual National YoungArts Week in Miami January 714, 2018.

Finalists are also eligible for nomination to the White House-appointed Commission on Presidential Scholars. As the sole nominating agency, YoungArts selects 60 Finalists each year, 20 of whom are selected to become U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, one of the highest honors for a graduating high school senior.

National YoungArts Week

National YoungArts Week, the organization’s signature program, aims to foster cross-disciplinary collaboration and community while offering Finalists the guidance needed to prepare for the next stage of their artistic development. During the free, weeklong intensive, artists across 10 disciplines participate in master classes and workshops with internationally recognized leaders in their fields, such as Florence Stern Memorial Master Teacher Kyle Abraham. Throughout the week, Finalists’ work will be further adjudicated to determine additional award levels.

Each evening, audiences can experience the work of the next generation of artists through performances in voice, jazz, theater, dance and classical music, as well as film screenings at New World Center, writers’ readings in the YoungArts Jewel Box, and a visual arts, photography and design exhibition curated by Pérez Art Museum Miami Assistant Curator Jennifer Inacio in the YoungArts Gallery. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

National YoungArts Week culminates with the annual Backyard Ball. Presented by Max Mara, the gala is the organization’s largest fundraiser which brings together prominent artists, community leaders, philanthropists and celebrities to acknowledge the 2018 YoungArts winners.

Alumni Programming
YoungArts is developing physical and digital spaces that create opportunities for alumni to connect, collaborate and create. YoungArts winners will gain access to a growing alumni network of more than 20,000 artists as well as additional professional and artistic development and presentation opportunities. Alumni programs include the new Up Next career development symposia in Los Angeles and New York, exhibitions curated by renowned artists such as Derrick Adams, and interdisciplinary residency programs in Miami.

YoungArts’ expansive alumni network of leading professionals includes visual artists Doug Aitken (1986 Winner in Visual Arts) and Daniel Arsham (1999 Winner in Visual Arts); musicians Conrad Tao (2011 Winner in Music & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) and Jennifer Koh (1994 Winner in Music & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); filmmaker Doug Blush (1984 Winner in Cinematic Arts); recording artists Josh Groban (1999 Winner in Theater) and Chris Young (2003 Winner in Voice & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); writers Sam Lipsyte (1986 Winner in Writing & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) and Tarell A. McCraney (1999 YoungArts Winner in Theater); actors Viola Davis (1983 Winner in Theater), Andrew Rannells (1997 Winner in Theater) and Kerry Washington (1994 Winner in Theater); renowned choreographer Desmond Richardson (1986 Winner in Modern Dance & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); and 2015 So You Think You Can Dance winner Gaby Diaz (2014 Winner in Dance).

Support for YoungArts National YoungArts Week and YoungArts regional programs is provided by the National Premier Partner Carnival Foundation, the YoungArts Week Performance Partner SunTrust, the Design Arts Discipline Partner Arquitectonica, the Visual Arts Discipline Partner Related Group, and the YoungArts Regional Partner Northern Trust. Additional support for National YoungArts Week is provided by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade Tourist Development Council, and The Children’s Trust; the City of Miami Beach, Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council; and the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.


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.

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