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20 STUDENTS TO BE NAMED TEXAS YOUNG MASTERS Texas Cultural Trust & ExxonMobil to present 2014 Class at Stateside Theatre April 7
Texas Cultural Trust

March, 2014

The Texas Cultural Trust (TCT) and the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) are proud to announce that 20 gifted students from all over the state, and representing a diverse array of artistic talents have been chosen for the 2014 Class of Young Masters.  The list includes high school students in creative disciplines from musical theater to Mariachi, cello to Carnatic Percussion, from Austin to Laredo to Willow Park.  The Texas Young Masters program is a joint initiative between the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Texas Cultural Trust, recognizing excellence in 8th through 11th grade students engaged in the study of various artistic disciplines, including dance, literary arts, media arts/film, music, theater, musical theater, and visual arts.


This class of Young Masters will be honored at an award ceremony and star-studded concert, presented by ExxonMobil, at Stateside at the Paramount Theatre on Monday, April 7, 2014, at 7 pm.  Tickets to the Concert and Award Ceremony are $50, and VIP tickets, including a Private Reception are $100.   For tickets and information, visit


This year’s class of Texas Young Masters includeSophie Anthony, Dallas, Visual Arts/Two-dimensional; Jay Appaji, Plano, Music/Carnatic Percussion; Nizhoni Begay, San Antonio, Voice/Mariachi; Jared Brown, Dallas,Dance/Modern; William Chiang, Plano, Music/Piano; Ann Cho, Austin, Music/Violin; Montana Dalton, Frisco, Dance/Contemporary; Christin Engelberth, San Antonio, Visual Arts/Two-dimensional; Claudia Isabel Heymach, Pearland, Literary Arts/Fiction; Esther Liao, Houston, Music/Piano; Hannah McEvilly, Austin, Musical Theater; Meg Mickelsen, Dallas, Visual Arts/Two-dimensional; Nina Pitts, Houston, Music/Cello; Kian Raissian, Houston,Music/Cello; Juanito Riveros, Rowlett, Music/Harp; Sydney Shreve, Dallas, Visual Arts/Three-dimensional; Catherine Thomas, Texarkana, Theater; Anastasia Tillman, Fort Worth, Dance/Ballet; Luke Westerman, Houston,Dance/Ballet; and Katja Yanko, The Woodlands, Musical Theater


“The Trust wants to congratulate the 2014 Class of Young Masters,” said Jennifer Ransom Rice, Executive Director of the Texas Cultural Trust.  “Those chosen represent exceptional talent and commitment to their chosen artistic field.  We are honored to be able to support such amazing young people as they develop into the Texas legends of tomorrow.” 


Joining Ray Benson at the Young Masters ceremony is renowned American songwriter, Bonnie Bishop.  Bishop has made her living on the road as a performer for well over a decade. As a full-time touring artist, she has run the small club circuit at a tenacious pace of 150 dates per year, both as a solo performer and with her band.  She has built a legion of loyal fans as far as Dubai and the United Kingdom, making her an inspiration to indie artists everywhere. Three parts Carole King, Janis Joplin, and Bonnie Raitt, with a splash of Joe Cocker and a shot of Robert Earl Keen, Bishop’s music straddles the fence between country and soul with an original sound that resonates with audiences from her home in Texas to the international stage.


The evening will also feature performances by previous Young Masters, including: renowned violinist, Charles Yang; Thales Smith, current UT graduate student in classical guitar; Mason Manning, modern dancer and current candidate to be nominated for a US Presidential Scholar in the Arts Award; and Katie Rose Pipkin, named Artist of the Year: Early Career at the Austin Visual Arts Awards in 2012 will speak on the importance of fostering creativity and talent at an early age.  Joining Emcee, Jake Silverstein of Texas Monthly will be Representative Susan L. King, Legislative Chair who will present the Young Masters with their awards.  The Honorable Joe Straus, Speaker of the House of the Texas House of Representatives serves as Honorary Chair.  For tickets and information, visit      


The state’s most talented young artists receive the title of “Texas Young Master,” and are awarded $2,500 per year for up to two years to further pursue their artistic training.  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. 




The Young Masters program is made possible through the generous support of the contributors listed below:  


Sponsors: Texas Women for the Arts, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Anheuser-Busch Companies, AT&T, H-E-B, Shell Oil Company, The Texas Tribune, BNSF Railway, Texas Monthly, Cadillac, Wayne Fisher, Gene Jones, Dawn Leatherwood, Karen & Charles Matthews, Guillermo Nicolas


Founders: AT&T Foundation, Anheuser Busch Foundation, Applied Materials, BNSF Railway, The Honorable David Dewhurst, Emerson Electric, Mrs. Gene Jones, Mr. George Mitchell, Mrs. W.D. Noel, Plum Foundation, Ray C. Fish Foundation, Raytheon 


About the Texas Cultural Trust

The Texas Cultural Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the importance of the arts in educating our children and sustaining our vibrant Texas economy, through awareness, outreach, economic research, and the development of arts education curriculum for public school students.  Programs of the Texas Cultural Trust include the biennial Texas Medal of Arts Awards, the Texas Young Masters Program, Create Texas, Arts and Digital Literacy Initiative, Adventures in the ARTS—a children's book, Texas Women for the Arts and Founders for the Arts, as well as support for programs of the Texas Commission on the Arts and other qualifying state agencies. For more information on TCT, please visit 


About The Texas Commission on the Arts

TCA was organized in 1965 by the Texas Legislature to develop a receptive climate for the arts in Texas. TCA supports a diverse and innovative arts community in Texas, throughout the nation and internationally by providing resources to enhance economic development, arts education, cultural tourism and artist sustainability initiatives. For more information on TCA and its programs, please visit


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