The list of tomorrow’s stars keeps getting longer as the National YoungArts Foundation, based in Miami, adds more winners to its roster.
This year, 171 finalists were chosen from 11,000 applicants, up from last year’s 149 who were culled from 10,000 applications. The finalists, 16 of whom are from the Miami area, will participate in YoungArts Week at various Miami locations beginning this week..
The 15- to 18-year-old finalists are the top tier of 687 total YoungArts winners in visual, literary and performing arts. As part of the 33rd annual YoungArts Week, the finalists will join master classes and workshops led by experts like architect Frank Gehry, actress Rita Moreno and University of Miami Frost School of Music Dean Shelly Berg, who recently finished production work on a Gloria Estefan album and two Christmas songs by classic rock group, Heart.
For arts lovers on a budget, the week offers a number of events that are no more than $10, and some are free, including vocal jazz, theater, design and dance performances at the World Center in Miami Beach, the YoungArts Gallery and YoungArts Campus in Miami.
The honorees join last year’s winners who included actress Jessica Darrow, a musical theater finalist from Coral Reef Senior High in South Miami-Dade who started college at Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Jersey in the fall. Previous YoungArts winners who went on to become celebs include actors Vanessa Williams, Viola Davis, Adrian Grenier and Raúl Esparza and pop music stars Josh Groban, Nicki Minaj and Chris Young.