We are incredibly happy for dance major, Kele Roberson, who was named a YoungArts Finalist for 2017. This is the highest honor a high school student may earn in fine arts in the nation, and we encourage all ASPVA students between 15-18 years of age to apply. Kele is our second winner from ASPVA to earn this prestigious award.
What does this mean for Kele?…
“YoungArts Winners receive cash awards of up to $10,000, mentorship and training from acclaimed artists, opportunities to participate in YoungArts programs, and guidance in taking important steps toward achieving their artistic goals. Selected by an independent panel of highly accomplished artists, the 2017 Winners represent the top 8.67% of applications and include 166 Finalists, the organization’s highest honor. This year’s Finalists have the opportunity to participate in the 36th annual National YoungArts Week in Miami from January 8 to 15, 2017. All winners become part of a professional network of over 20,000 alumni artists.
The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison. YoungArts’ signature program is an application-based award for emerging artists ages 15–18 or in grades 10–12 from across the United States. Selected through a blind adjudication process conducted by an independent panel of highly accomplished artists, YoungArts Winners receive valuable support, including financial awards of up to $10,000, professional development and educational experiences working with renowned mentors—such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Sarah Brightman, Plácido Domingo, Frank Gehry, Jeff Koons, Wynton Marsalis, Rebecca Walker and Carrie Mae Weems—and performance and exhibition opportunities at some of the nation’s leading cultural institutions.
Additionally, YoungArts Winners 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. U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts receive a Presidential Medal at the White House and perform and exhibit at the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian.
YoungArts alumni who have gone on to become leaders in their fields include actresses Viola Davis, Anna Gunn, Zuzanna Szadkowski and Kerry Washington; Broadway stars Raúl Esparza, Billy Porter, Andrew Rannells and Tony Yazbeck; recording artists Josh Groban, Judith Hill and Chris Young; Metropolitan Opera star Eric Owens; musicians Terence Blanchard, Gerald Clayton and Jennifer Koh; choreographers Camille A. Brown and Desmond Richardson; visual artists Daniel Arsham and Hernan Bas; internationally acclaimed multimedia artist Doug Aitken; television writer, producer, and director Jenji Kohan; New York Times bestselling author Sam Lipsyte; and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Doug Blush.”
Kele is a senior at ASPVA and a member of the Dance Institute dance company under the direction of Linda Holland. Photo credit: Martha Istueta