TEXAS CULTURAL TRUST, TEXAS COMMISSION ON THE ARTS ANNOUNCE 2014 YOUNG MASTERS CEREMONY

Art is all About Pushing Boundaries…Like Age
Biennial Event Recognizing the Next Generation of Texas Legends

The Texas Cultural Trust and the Texas Commission on the Arts are proud to announce the 2014 Texas Young Masters Class on Monday, April 7 at 7 pm at the Stateside at the Paramount Theatre. Returning for the 2014 Young Masters ceremony will be Jake Silverstein, Editor in Chief of Texas Monthly, acting as Emcee for the third time. GRAMMY Award winning artist and Texas Cultural Trust Board Member, Ray Benson will perform with previous Texas Young Masters. The evening will also include special guest performances from well-known, Texas musicians and a presentation of awards to the 2014 class of Texas Young Masters. Tickets on sale soon.

The Texas Young Masters program is a joint initiative between the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) and the Texas Cultural Trust (TCT), recognizing excellence in 8th through 11th grade students engaged in the study of various artistic disciplines, including dance, literary arts, media arts/film, music, theatre, musical theatre, and visual arts. Students are awarded $2,500 per year for up to two years to further pursue their artistic training.

“The Texas Cultural Trust is proud to recognize our next generation of Texas legends. These young artists represent a wide variety of disciplines, and our state’s cultural future,” said Jennifer Ransom Rice, Executive Director of the Texas Cultural Trust.  “This program opens doors to opportunities never imagined for these young people.  It is a thrill to be a part of such a life-changing accomplishment for such a small investment.”

“The Texas Commission on the Arts is pleased to have consistently contributed to the advancement of young Texas artists at such a pivotal point in their artistic development,” said Gary Gibbs, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Texas Commission on the Arts. “The Texas Young Masters program identifies and nurtures students who have a wealth of talent and possibility, and we take great pride in that.”

The 2012 program included a special performance by Bob Schneider and a modern dance performance by 2002 Young Master Christopher Vo who was a principal dancer in the national tour of Twyla Tharp’s musical, Come Fly Away, and is currently starring in Kung Fu in New York. Other performances includes a tap dance by 2012 recipient, Ani Mayo and a violin performance by 2004 Young Master, Charles Yang, who was described by the Texas Tribune as “A crossover artist, a pioneer who can hop between classical and popular music and bring fresh ideas to fans of both genres.”  Winners from 2012 class include Mason Manning and Michael Stromile, both of whom are currently Finalists Winners in Modern Dance through The National YoungArts Foundation, and are eligible to be nominated for a US Presidential Scholar in the Arts Award.

Other Young Masters alumni who are further into their professional career include:

Julia Cinquemanai – 2008 Young Master in Dance. Originally from Dallas, she went on to study at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School and the School of American Ballet. Cinquemanai is currently in her fourth season as a soloist with the Los Angeles Ballet.

Katie Rose Pipkin – 2008 Young Master in Visual Arts. An Austin native, Pipkin won the 2009 Residency Award at the Paris American Academy of Art in France and was named the Artist of the Year: Early Career at the Austin Visual Arts Awards in 2012. A speaker at the 2010 Young Masters Ceremony, Pipkin had this to say about her experience:  “To be young, motivated, and free to truly explore what it means to be an artist; this is a powerful combination of forces. The Young Masters program is important because it recognizes this time.  This is the time when you can escape, can travel, can learn from the greats without too many financial woes or scholarly repercussions. That ability to ‘just go’ fades with age and work schedules and the other million little obligations that fill our lives. Take advantage. It may not come again.”

The state’s most talented young artists receive the title of “Texas Young Master.” The program nurtures the state’s rising stars to become legends of tomorrow and creates a mentoring relationship between student and instructor.  Since its inception in 2002, The Trust and TCA have given 243 grants to 104 previous Young Masters, awarding $607,500 to aspiring artists from across the state.

In order to be considered for the Texas Young Masters program, students must be US citizens or legal US residents living in Texas and participating in a school-based program, a summer institute, a specialized course of study or receiving private lessons from a qualified professional instructor. They must also maintain passing grades in all academic areas. For more information, visit http://www.txculturaltrust.org/programs/young-masters/ or http://www.arts.texas.gov/initiatives/young-masters/