National YoungArts Week at PAMM

The National YoungArts Foundation prides itself on empowering youth to express themselves creatively and artistically. By including numerous disciplines within their program, young artists from across the country have the opportunity to meet, learn, refine their craft, and join a robust network, decades in the making. The foundation chooses those winners through a long and arduous adjudication process, handled by professional artists representing each discipline.


In many ways, National YoungArts Week is the culmination of an entire year of hard work. The chosen finalists attend “Master Classes” with art world professionals who shed light on different professions within the art world.

As a part of National YoungArts Week, the Visual Arts, Photography, and Design winners have their work included in a comprehensive exhibition. This year, the curator selected was PAMM’s very own Maritza Lacayo, who also curated the YoungArts Regional exhibition in early 2019. As part of the Master Class program, Lacayo provides students with unique insights on the practice of curating.


The exhibition opened to the public on January 10, offering viewers the opportunity to meet the artists and learn about their work and overall practice. It consisted of a selection of works from the finalists’ portfolios.

Lacayo describes her responsibility as curator as “doing each one of the artist’s justice within the space and highlighting their work as best I can. Upon inspection, one would never imagine that these are works by 15 to 18-year-old students—the work’s quality is spectacular and impactful. The importance of exhibiting their work is not to be diminished. These are the artists who will be shaping the future of the art world and telling their stories for decades to come—creating what can be a more creative, compassionate, and colorful world.”

Applications for the 2021 YoungArts competition will be accepted beginning June 1 through October 8, 2020. Requirements are currently being updated for the 2021 application cycle and will be posted in early February. To learn more visit

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