Four of Five Alabama National YoungArts Finalists from ASFA
Monday, Jan 14,2013
Six ASFA students recently received news of their selection as winners in the prestigious National YoungArts competition. The competition is sponsored by the National YoungArts Foundation (formerly known as the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts) and annually recognizes many of the country’s most talented high school students in literary, visual and performing arts.
Nearly 10,000 students entered the competition this year and judges selected 685 as winners. Only 152 students or the top 1.5 percent of students from across the country were chosen as finalists and received an all expense paid trip to Miami where they participate in a week of master classes, workshops and performances. During the week, the students also got to share their work in screenings, readings and exhibitions by fellow finalists and met renowned professional artists from around the country.
Four of Alabama’s five finalists were ASFA students. This year’s ASFA finalists are 11th grader Melody Dailey for Theatre Arts, 12th graders Amanda Crist and Natalie Landers for Writing and 12th grader Alexis Gancayco for Visual Arts. Natalie Landers and Visual Arts senior Omari Simmons received Honorable Mention Awards and $250. Creative Writing senior Carmen Wilson was selected as one of nearly 300 Merit winners from around the country. Work by ASFA’s four finalists will be judged, making them eligible for monetary awards ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
Paul T. Lehr, executive director for the National YoungArts Foundation, said he was thrilled by the amazing number of students who applied in the YoungArts competition this year. “We had an astonishing number of applicants, almost twice as many as any other year in our 31 year history,” he said. “The quality of this year’s talented winners, who represent a diverse group of the most promising young artists in America today, is a testament to the strength of our program.”
This year’s YoungArts Week culminated with an evening gala to celebrate the 2013 YoungArts winners and an awards ceremony recognizing three renowned performers for their artistic achievement and leadership in the arts. This year’s honorees are director and choreographer Debbie Allen, violinist Joshua Bell and actor and YoungArts alum Adrian Grenier.
“The work of these great arts leaders shows our next generation, here for YoungArts Week, that they, too, can become a part of the continuing artistic tradition in American society,” Lehr said.
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