PBS Partners with YoungArts to Live Stream U.S. Presidential Scholars Performance from The Kennedy Center on June 20, 2011

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WASHINGTON, DC – June 17, 2011 – As part of its commitment to increasing access to the arts, PBS today announced it will partner with the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) to live stream A Salute to the 2011 U.S. Presidential Scholars, a performance by the 2011 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Monday, June 20, at 8 p.m. ET. Nominated through NFAA’s core YoungArts program, the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts are being honored as the top high-school artists in the nation for their superior academic and artistic achievement, leadership and character. The celebratory performance by the Scholars will be streamed live on PBS’ Facebook page, facebook.com/pbs, and on the NFAA’s website (www.youngarts.org).

“We are honored that PBS has partnered with us to live stream this year’s performance by the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts,” says James M. Dubin, NFAA’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “This level of recognition and exposure is an important element of our mission to foster and develop the careers of young artists and to generate support and interest in the arts across the nation.”

“We are extremely proud to showcase this year’s incredibly talented U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts,” added PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger. “At a time when funding for music and the arts within our schools is being cut, PBS is extending the reach and impact of programs like YoungArts, helping to keep the arts vibrant for today’s youth, their families, and generations to come.”   Students expected to perform on June 20 include: singer India Carney from Brooklyn, NY; violinist Kevin Hu from Naperville, IL; dancer-choreographer Blake Krapels from Woodland Park, NJ; spoken-word/musical theater performer Ryan McCartan from Excelsior, MN; tenor Daniel McGrew from Orange, CA; spoken-word/theater performer Jessica Miller from Rock Hill, SC; jazz musician/double bassist Zachary Ostroff from Belvedere, CA; musician/tuba player Colby Parker from Statesboro, GA; dancer Maxwell Perkins from Wilmette, IL; jazz vocalist Daniel Stanfill from Manhattan Beach, CA; and composer Conrad Tao from New York, NY.   Each year the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts are drawn from a pool of talented high school students across the nation who apply to NFAA’s YoungArts program. Following a rigorous adjudication process and participation in the program, NFAA then nominates to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars 60 finalists for consideration. The 2011 winners, comprising 20 graduating high-school seniors who include talented singers, dancers, musicians, writers, filmmakers, and theater/spoken-word performers, were named earlier this year by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.    The performance will be available on pbs.org/video after the live event. In addition to A Salute to the 2011 U.S. Presidential Scholars, the work of the visual artists and writers will be on view in a special exhibition, An Exhibition of Works, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum from June 19-July 4, 2011.   As part of PBS’ commitment to arts and performance programming, this live-streamed event gives all Americans an early glimpse, from a front-row seat, at the country’s next generation of talent. Later this year, PBS launches the first-ever PBS Arts Fall Festival (beginning October 14 at 9PM), and PBSArts.org features exclusive online programs and exhibitions that extend PBS’ broadcast content, giving viewers a chance to learn more about featured artists and to discover new ones.

About the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by executive order of the President to recognize and honor the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. Each year, up to 141 students are named as U.S. Presidential Scholars, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students, including up to 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts.  

About YoungArts

YoungArts is the core program of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA). NFAA’s mission is to identify emerging artists, provide educational enrichment and assistance in their pursuit of the arts, and raise the appreciation for and support of the arts in American society.

Dedicated to inspiring and nurturing young artists, NFAA was founded in 1981 by businessman and visionary, the late Ted Arison, and his wife Lin. Its YoungArts program identifies the next generation of emerging artists and contributes to the cultural vitality of the nation by investing in the artistic development of thousands of gifted artists in nine disciplines in the performing, literary and visual arts. The YoungArts program has honored over 16,000 young artists with more than $6 million in monetary awards and nearly $84 million in college scholarship opportunities. Alumni go on to become leading professionals in their fields. Alumni include Emmy-nominated actress Vanessa Williams, four-time Tony Award nominee Raúl Esparza, star of HBO’s Entourage Adrian Grenier, Warner Bros. recording artist Josh Groban, Executive Director of the American Ballet Theatre Rachel Moore, actress Kerry Washington and internationally acclaimed multimedia artist Doug Aitken. For more information, visit www.youngarts.org.

About PBS

PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans — from every walk of life — the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches 124 million people through television and 20 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBSPressroom on Twitter.

Media Contacts:
Stephanie Aaronson PBS 703-739-5074 saaronson@pbs.org
Rebecca M. Gentry National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts 305-377-1140, extension 1300 rebeccag@youngarts.org
John Michael Kennedy Goodman Media International 212-576-2700 extension 243 jmkennedy@goodmanmedia.com