The YoungArts Competition supports young, gifted artists in 10 disciplines at the early stages of their journey to pursue a career in art through cash prizes, mentorship programs, and providing the artists with a robust network.
Every year, the National YoungArts Foundation organizes the YoungArts Competition and receives thousands of applications from young artists before carefully selecting the finalists to attend the National YoungArts Week where winners can network with peers, mentors, and winners of previous years and internationally renowned artists. The winners in their senior years are eligible to be nominated for the most prestigious and honorable art award of the United States — the U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts.
The National YoungArts, founded in 1981, has been successful in molding the careers of young, talented artists throughout their careers with a mission to provide for and support all young, aspiring creatives in the United States with funding, networking, professional development, and resources. It could not get any better for those in creative fields looking to be recognized for their talent and be supported in a creative career.
Key Information of YoungArts Competition
Area of Study
Country of Study
Intended Level of Study
Number of Awards
YoungArts Competition Timeline
June 1, 2022
Application Open Date
Applications open around June, each year. Please check the exact dates on the website
October 15, 2022
The last date of submission for entry is around mid. October.
The YoungArts Competition declares the names of the winners in early December.
To be eligible to apply, applicants must meet the following criteria.
- Eligible Grade: High School Senior
- Age: 15 – 18
- Required GPA: Any
- Geographic Eligibility: United States
- Gender: Any
- Race/Ethnicity: Any
Here’s what you need to submits besides your application.
- Video Submission
- Special Project
How to ace the YoungArts Competition
Use original ideas to establish your dedication
The artists should use creativity, innovation, technique, and focus on creating a unique, gripping design and composition when they submit their work. The artists’ works are judged by a panel both subjectively and objectively using the basic criteria of memory, reason, imagination, and creative faculty.
Reach out to earlier YoungArts Competition winners
Reaching out to earlier YoungArts Competition winners is of great help to understand from previous winners what the panel of artists look for in someone’s work. This can help someone get the lead and understand how to tailor their submission in a way to get the spotlight for their creative talents.
Analyze submissions critically
The YoungArts Competition wants young applicants to focus primarily on Music, Visual Arts, and Writing. The young artists should critically analyze and deconstruct their own work of art based on feedback, reflection, authentic voice, and material choice. The applicants should use instructions and videos from YoungArts panelists, and view recent artworks of eminent artists to do a self-evaluation.
Practice to make your art powerful
The applicants should practice hard and use their ability to do powerful, emotive artwork. At the initial stage of the journey to the fascinating world of art, practice will help to create better work. The work submitted should focus clearly on the message and the ideas of the applicant.
How the YoungArts Competition is Judged
The National YoungArts panel judges the work on its merit by a process of many rounds of reviews by eminent artists. Each category is judged by artists of prominence in that particular field. The applicant is judged on the basis of their submissions of their portfolio, auditions, and other submission materials.
Why We Love the YoungArts Competition
The awards can be used in numerous ways
The winners of YoungArts receive cash awards that can be used as per the winner's choice whether it be to pay for college, art school, a conservatory program, or anything else.
Use of feedback system for future improvement
The YoungArts Competition has a feedback system to inform the participants who did not proceed up to the last round and be awarded in the current competition.
Application allowability for multiple categories
The young budding artist can submit applications in multiple categories and disciplines. If the applicant is selected in more than one category, they will be invited to attend the National YoungArts Week in the category of their choice and also receive a cash award of $500.
5 Facts ABout the YoungArts Competition
The applicants for the YoungArts competition must be a United States resident, a permanent resident studying in grades 10–12, or in the age group 15–18 on December 1, the year prior to the year of competition.
Only new applicants allowed
The candidates who have been selected previously and have attended National YoungArts Week may not apply under any discipline or category.
A wide range of categories
The participants can submit their work in 10 categories which are Classical Music, Dance, Design Arts, Film, Jazz, Photography, Theater, Visual Arts, Vocals, and Writing. This is quite exceptional as most competitions allow entry in a single category.
The application process
The applicants need to apply online and require an audition portfolio, along with fees of $35 for each category.
A chance to network and discover
The YoungArts Competition finalists can attend the National YoungArts Week to interact with peers across 10 disciplines, and internationally renowned artists in their fields to form lifelong professional connections.