This year’s Finalists had the opportunity to participate in the 36th annual National YoungArts Week in Miami from January 8 to 15, 2017. All Winners became part of a professional network of over 20,000 alumni artists and are eligible to participate in YoungArts’ regional programs, including YoungArts Miami (February 21 – 26, 2017), YoungArts Los Angeles (March 28 – April 2, 2017) and YoungArts New York (April 25 – 30, 2017).

“YoungArts is thrilled to announce our 2017 Winners, all of whom represent the very best of the next generation of artists in this country,” stated Carolina García Jayaram, YoungArts’ President & Chief Executive Officer. “As we welcome new Finalists to Miami each January, and engage hundreds of Winners nationwide through our Regional Programs thereafter, it becomes increasingly clear how much this organization has grown—and continues to grow—into an astounding network of emerging and professional artists, and one with global reverberations. I look forward to meeting this year’s Winners and seeing how they flourish as members of the artistic community. Congratulations to all.”

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 intensive, week-long and all-inclusive program, artists across 10 disciplines participate in master classes and workshops with internationally recognized leaders in their field, including YoungArts Legacy Master Teachers artistic director, choreographer and dancer Bill T. Jones, and celebrated photographer Sylvia Plachy; American painter Will Cotton; dancer Vernon Scott; and Academy Award-winning director Doug Blush (1984 Winner in Cinematic Arts), among others. Throughout the week, Finalists’ work was further adjudicated to determine additional award levels.

Each evening, audiences experienced 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 Director Franklin Sirmans in the YoungArts Gallery. For more information visit

National YoungArts Week culminated with the annual Backyard Ball presented by Max Mara, which brought together prominent artists, community leaders, philanthropists and celebrities to honor the 2017 YoungArts Winners. Two distinguished awardees were recognized at this event for their vital commitment to the arts, including Jason Moran (1993 Winner in Jazz) as this year’s Arison Alumni Award recipient.

« 1 of 3 »

YoungArts is also the exclusive nominating agency for the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, a high honor extended to a select group of Finalists annually. YoungArts nominates 60 YoungArts Winners each year to the White House-appointed Commission on Presidential Scholars, 20 of whom are selected to become U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts.

YoungArts Winners become part of the organization’s expansive alumni network of leading professionals, including visual artists Doug Aitken (1986 Winner in Visual Arts) and Daniel Arsham (1999 Winner in Visual Arts); musicians Conrad Tao (2011 Winner in Music and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) and Jennifer Koh (1994 Winner in Music and 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 and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); writer Sam Lipsyte (1986 Winner in Writing and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); 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 and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); and 2015 So You Think You Can Dance winner Gaby Diaz (2014 Winner in Dance).


Support for National YoungArts Week is provided by our National Premier Sponsor, Carnival Foundation; the YoungArts Week Performance Sponsor, SunTrust; the Legacy Master Series Sponsor, Aon; the Design Arts Discipline Sponsor, Arquitectonica; the Visual Arts Discipline Sponsor, The Related Group; Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; and the State of 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.

For more information, visit,