Nineteen 2020 YoungArts Awards highlight artistic talent at NWSA

Nineteen ,2020, YoungArts, Awards ,highlight, artistic ,talent, NWSA
Pictured (l-r) are NWSA students: Destiny Moore, Rush Carson, Catalina de Luca, Nicole Hernandez and Samuel Jorge.
(Photo by Maria M. Flores)

With 21 Presidential Scholars in the Arts since 1989, and 89 YoungArts Finalists / 346 YoungArts Winners since 2002, New World School of the Arts (NWSA) students continue to leave their artistic mark in our community.

Among the 171 YoungArts Finalists selected this year are seven NWSA students joining the ranks as in their respective artistic fields and selected by an esteemed discipline-specific panel of artists through a rigorous blind adjudication process. In addition, NWSA students received three YoungArts Honorable Mentions and nine Merit Awards for a grand total 19 awards.

NWSA 2020 YoungArts Finalists are Dance: Rush Carson, Choreography; Theater: Catarina de Luca Figueiredo; Ulises Otero Jr. (class of 2019); Visual Arts: Nichole Hernandez; Samuel Jorge; Destiny Moore; Voice: Anthony Josep, Classical Baritone (class of 2019).

The YoungArts Finalists will each receive a cash prize of up to $10,000 and participate in National YoungArts Week (Jan. 5-12), the organization’s signature program providing artists with an intensive, weeklong and all-inclusive program featuring master classes, workshops and mentorship from leading artists in their fields.

At National YoungArts Week, Finalists will have the opportunity to learn from 2020 master teachers, including MacArthur “Genius” Claire Chase; Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist René Marie; The New York Times Best Selling author Joan Morgan; Tony-nominated actress Michele Shay; photographer, curator and educator Endia Beal, and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Doug Blush. For more information visit

All Finalists also are eligible for nomination to the White House-appointed Commission on Presidential Scholars. As the sole nominating agency, YoungArts selects 60 Finalists each year, 20 of whom are selected to become U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, one of the highest honors for a graduating high school senior. Since 1989, 21 Presidential Scholars in the Arts have been selected from New World School of the Arts’ four arts disciplines (Dance, Music, Theater, Visual Arts).

“Each of these students has shown tremendous dedication to their work, and their portfolios for YoungArts reflect this,” said John Slepian, dean of Visual Arts at NWSA. “Their work demonstrates great skill with their media, and sophistication visually and conceptually. They have each chosen to explore serious and complex themes — and have done so with thoughtfulness and courage.

“We are thrilled for their work to be recognized by YoungArts but are not surprised to hear that their work is on par with the best in the country. We expect great things from Destiny, Nichole and Samuel. You will be hearing from these artists again.”

NWSA 2020 YoungArts Honorable Mentions are
Jazz: Ian Muñoz, Saxophone/Alto; Theater: Sabina Arcila; Visual Arts: Luis Aleman.
NWSA 2020 YoungArts Merits are Classical Music: Sonya Carrillo, Trumpet; Dance: Julian Sanchez, Modern/Contemporary; Jazz: Daniela Jimenez Ochoa, Piano; Claudio Silva, Percussion; Adam Stein, Saxophone/Tenor; Photography: Sabrina Proano; Theater: Simone De La Torre; Visual Arts: Zonelys Martinez; Writing: Arianna Peró, Spoken Word
YoungArts was established in 1981 to identify emerging artists and assist them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development, and to raise the appreciation for and support of the arts in American society.

Each year since its inception in 1981, YoungArts, based in Miami and founded by Lin and Ted Arison of Carnival Cruises, selects more than 120 High School seniors from a pool of thousands of candidates nationwide and offers them the opportunity to present their artistic talents and achievements in Miami. These fortunate few also receive cash awards of $100 to $10,000 per student, or scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 annually for four years to further enhance their artistic education. The objective of this institution is to identify talented arts students in their senior year in high school.

Information about New World School of the Arts is available at 305-237-3135 or

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