Accomplished Young Artists Nominated for Presidential Award

YoungArts recently announced the nominees for the 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students who exemplify artistic and academic excellence.

Following National YoungArts Week, 60 students, representing 21 states and Americans abroad, were nominated to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The YoungArts award winners express their artistic abilities across nine disciplines including visual, literary and performing arts.

“It is with great pride that YoungArts nominates these 60 extraordinary artists to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars,” said Clive Chang, President.

“These artists have demonstrated outstanding artistry and intellectual curiosity.”

Open to YoungArts award winners at the Finalist level, the 2023 National YoungArts Week included masterclasses and workshops facilitated by notable artists including architect Germane Barnes, author Richard Blanco, actor and playwright Taylor Mac, jazz alto saxophonist Charles McPherson, costume designer Machine Dazzle and actor BD Wong, who led the annual AON masterclass.

The participating student-artists were further evaluated for nomination to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, conducting performances, writers’ readings, film screenings and an exhibition, which allowed the public opportunities to meet and experience their work.

“They have shown us not only their true dedication to their craft, but also their immense joy and a remarkably comprehensive understanding of the world around us that characterizes this new generation of artists,” said Chang.

YoungArts winners are selected through a highly competitive application, which is reviewed by panels of esteemed discipline-specific artists in a rigorous blind adjudication process.

Last year, 702 of the country’s most accomplished young visual, literary and performing artists were selected as YoungArts award winners, joining a distinguished community of artists. Each student, 15–18 years old or in grades 10–1, are offered creative and professional development support throughout their careers.

“Every year we are inspired anew by the talent, dedication and creativity of extraordinary early career artists,” said YoungArts Artistic Director Lauren Snelling.

“YoungArts is proud to support artists at critical junctures throughout their lives, and we look forward to providing community and professional and creative development opportunities that will empower the 2023 award winners as they embark on exciting careers in the arts. Now more than ever, it is essential to support artists so that their voices can be heard long into the future.”

The sole nominating agency, YoungArts nominates 60 artists to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, from which the 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts are selected.

In 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established by executive order of President Lyndon B. Johnson to recognize and honor the nation’s top graduating high school seniors.

In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrated talent in the visual, creative and performing arts.

Two years later YoungArts began providing space, funding, mentorship, professional development and community throughout artists’ careers, investing in exceptional young artists’ lifelong creative freedom.

Among notable YoungArts alumni are Daniel Arsham, Terence Blanchard, Camille A. Brown, Timothée Chalamet, Viola Davis, Amanda Gorman, Judith Hill, Jennifer Koh, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Andrew Rannells, Desmond Richardson and Hunter Schafer.

U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts alumni include Tony Award-nominated performer and choreographer Desmond Richardson; Los Angeles Music Center President Rachel S. Moore; novelist and National Book Award Finalist Allegra Goodman; Grammy Award-nominated violinist Jennifer Koh; BRAVO’s “Work of Art” winner Abdi Farah; OBIE Award-winning actress Donna Lynne Champlin; Tony Award-nominated choreographer and educator Camille A. Brown and RCA Records award-winning singer-songwriter and Grammy Award-nominated artist Chris Young.

Since its inception, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored almost 8,000 of the nation’s high-performing students. U.S. Presidential Scholars are honored for their accomplishments during the National Recognition Program each June. To commemorate their achievement, the Scholars are awarded the Presidential Scholars Medallion.

The 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts will be announced in May.

“We are all excited to watch and support these artists as they grow and evolve in their artistic journeys,” said Chang.

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