Rising Texas stars get a new chance to shine with a $10,000 teen arts scholarship
Any child has the capacity to make art — some much more so than adults — but parents know that formal instruction and materials can be expensive. Add in transportation, performance clothes, and invaluable time, and a young person at a financial deficit may be tucking away that growing potential forever. Two major arts organizations in Texas want to help.
Young students in Texas with a passion for art can apply for a life-changing grant from the Texas Young Masters program. Those involved in visual arts, music, theater, dance, literary arts, musical theater, folk arts, and media arts, can now take their artistic abilities to a new level with a $10,000 windfall.
The initiative between the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) and Texas Cultural Trust (TXCT) recognizes 15 students in grades 8-11 who have the potential to become the next generation’s Texan stars. Alongside the coveted title of “Young Master,” the recipients will be awarded $5,000 per year for two consecutive years (with a successful progress report) to further their studies in their chosen artistic area.
TCA executive director Gary Gibbs explains that the grant program was created as a way to acknowledge and support young people in their pursuit of becoming prominent Texan artists.
“We look forward to receiving applications from candidates who are already demonstrating outstanding artistic ability, talent, and dedication to developing their knowledge in their chosen discipline,” said Gibbs in a release.
TXCT and TCA reported awarding over $1.2 million through grants to 184 previous Young Masters. A panel of experts from across the state will judge the applicants on artistic ability, level of commitment, and proposed plan of study.
Some “success stories” shared in last year’s material tell stories of Young Masters from as long as a decade ago, noting their more recent achievements. One dancer, Christopher Vo, used the grant funds to attend Juilliard classes, later dancing on tour and on TV. Another former recipient, Austin’s Charles Yang, brought his talent to several countries, won several awards, and was described in The Boston Globe as, “One who plays classical violin with the charisma of a rock star.”
To be considered for the grant, applicants must be legal U.S. residents living in Texas and already enrolled in a school program, specialized course, or receiving lessons from a professional instructor. The students must also have passing grades in all their academic courses.
“We are thrilled to help these Young Masters take their education to the next level and bolster their creative training. This program opens doors to opportunities never imagined for these young artists and will help create the Texas legends of tomorrow,” said Texas Cultural Trust CEO Heidi Marquez Smith.
The deadline to apply and submit supporting documents is November 1st. The recipients will be honored in a ceremony in Austin in the spring of 2024.
For more information and to submit the 2024 Young Master application, visit arts.texas.gov.