National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) announces the 2021 YoungArts award winners—659 of the most accomplished young visual, literary and performing artists from across the country. YoungArts award winners gain access to one of the most comprehensive programs for artists in the United States in which they will have opportunities for financial, creative and professional development support throughout their entire careers. Selected through the organization’s prestigious competition, YoungArts award winners are chosen for their caliber of artistic achievement by esteemed discipline-specific panels of artists through a rigorous blind adjudication process. A complete list of the 2021 winners, all 15–18 years old or in grades 10–12, is available here.
“YoungArts empowers artists to pursue a life in the arts beginning at the critical time when many are faced with decisions about life after high school and we are thrilled to announce this year’s YoungArts award winners. This group of extraordinary artists has reminded us yet again that extraordinary artistry is ageless, and I encourage everyone to get to know these faces and names as we will be seeing them for many years to come,” said Executive Director Jewel Malone. “To all of this year’s winners, congratulations! This is just the start of YoungArts’ commitment to supporting your careers, we look forward to working to with you and supporting your artistic and professional development.”
YoungArts awards are given in three categories: Finalist, Honorable Mention and Merit. This year, YoungArts award winners at all levels will receive cash prizes between $100 and $10,000 and the opportunity to learn from leading artists such as Debbie Allen, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Frank Gehry, Wynton Marsalis, Salman Rushdie and Mickalene Thomas. YoungArts award winners become eligible for exclusive creative and professional development support including a wide range of fellowships, residencies and awards; virtual and in-person presentation opportunities in collaboration with major venues nationwide; additional financial support; and access to YoungArts Post, a free, private digital network for YoungArts artists to connect, collaborate and learn about additional opportunities.
YoungArts award winners join a distinguished group of accomplished artists including Daniel Arsham, Terence Blanchard, Camille A. Brown, Viola Davis, Allegra Goodman, Josh Groban, Judith Hill, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Andrew Rannells, Desmond Richardson and Hunter Schafer.
YoungArts award winners at the Finalist level are invited to participate in National YoungArts Week + in January 2021 featuring virtual classes, workshops and mentorship from leading artists in their fields as well as virtual performances and an exhibition for the public. Additional details will be announced soon.
Finalists are also eligible to be nominated to become a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, one of the highest honors given high school seniors bestowed by the President of the United States. As the sole nominating agency, every year YoungArts nominates 60 artists to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars. The Commission then selects the 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts.
Support for the 2020-21 YoungArts season is provided by Together campaign supporters, including Campaign Chairs Sarah Arison and Thomas Wilhelm, Jay Franke and David Herro, and Michi and Charles Jigarjian and Lead Sponsors Sandra and Tony Tamer.
Additional support for National YoungArts Foundation programs is provided by Anthropologie; Batchelor Foundation; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; Funding Arts Network; the City of Miami Beach, Cultural Affairs Program, and the Cultural Arts Council; Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; Dr. Sidney Stern in loving memory of Florence Stern; and Bruce and Ellie Taub.