The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) today announced the nominees for the 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students who exemplify academic and artistic excellence. YoungArts is the sole nominating agency for this high honor and the 60 candidates, representing 25 states and nine artistic disciplines, are all YoungArts winners. The students have been nominated to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program for their artistic achievement on the heels of the organization’s annual signature program, National YoungArts Week, which concluded in Miami on January 14.
The candidate applications will be reviewed by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, which will ultimately select 20 high school seniors to be recognized as U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts for their academic and artistic accomplishments, demonstrated leadership, community service and outreach initiatives and overall creativity. In June, the 20 arts scholars will join the other 141 U.S. Presidential Scholars from across the country in Washington, D.C. for the National Recognition Program. During the program, all scholars receive a Presidential Medallion presented on behalf of the President of the United States and participate in several recognition activities while in Washington, D.C. The 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts will present their work at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts through a special exhibition curated by YoungArts Exhibition Manager Luisa Munera, and a performance directed by YoungArts alumnus and Theater National Selection Panelist Michael McElroy (1985 Winner in Theater).
“The National YoungArts Foundation is proud to partner with the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program to acknowledge our nation’s most talented graduating high school seniors,” said Carolina García Jayaram, YoungArts President, and CEO. “These young leaders excel in everything that they do, from their artistry and inquisitiveness to their academics and activism. YoungArts congratulate each of the nominees on their accomplishments, and we look forward to announcing the selected arts scholars this spring.” The 2018 winners can be found here.
The U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts nominees are actors, dancers, singers, classical musicians, photographers, filmmakers, visual artists, designers, and writers. Once selected, the 2018 awardees will join an illustrious group of YoungArts and U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts alumni including 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; and RCA Records award-winning singer-songwriter and Grammy Award-nominated artist Chris Young.