To identify emerging artists and assist them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development, and to raise appreciation for, and support of, the arts in American society.
About the Organization:
Established by the late Ted Arison, founder of Carnival Cruise Lines, to operate the Arts Recognition and Talent Search (ARTS) program, the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts brings together individuals, corporations, foundations, and philanthropic institutions to support America's youth in the arts. The organization primarily seeks out artistically accomplished young people throughout the United States and gives them national recognition through cash awards and scholarships. It also encourages artistic growth and career development through workshops, public performances and exhibitions, and internships, and serves as a springboard for successful careers in the arts.
The ARTS initiative, established twenty-five years ago, is the nation's only scholarship program in all art forms for young people ages 17 and 18 -- primarily high school seniors. They are judged against a standard of excellence for their age group within their artistic discipline, and do not compete against each other. The organization brings those selected to participate in ARTS Week -- 160 this year -- to Miami each January for an all-expenses-paid week of master classes, showcase performances, exhibitions, interdisciplinary activities, enrichment programs, interviews, and live auditions. Those deemed most talented receive individual cash awards up to $10,000, or a total of $525,000, and are eligible for $3 million in college scholarships. Later, as ARTS alumni, they may receive grants up to $600 and are eligible for internships to the Sundance Theatre Laboratory or the Utah Shakespearean Festival at Southern Utah University. NFAA also supports professional and emerging artists through career development programs such as Astral Career Grants. The organization is the exclusive nominating agency, through its ARTS program, of up to fifty young people for the Presidential Scholars in the Arts, a national recognition program administered by the U.S. Department of Education.
The ARTS program dominates the NFAA Web site, which contains a searchable list of current award winners, and past winners, by state and discipline; the requirements within each category in a specific art form; eligibility information; specifics on the ARTS Alumni Awards, including past winners and an application; and a link to the ARTS alumni homepage. The NFAA site also provides information on the $25,000 Music for Youth Foundation scholarships and the Arison Award, given annually to an individual who has significantly influenced the development of young American artists, and accompanied by a $10,000 donation to the winner's arts organization or charity of choice; links to opportunities for artists in various fields; a timeline of NFAA history; and upcoming events.
NFAA is supported primarily by gifts from individuals, corporations, foundations, and other philanthropic institutions. Government sources provide less than 5 percent of its funding.