Carlsbad dancer earns national award

CARLSBAD — A trip to Miami netted a 16-year-old Carlsbad girl a national award.

Juliette Martinez, who attends the Orange County School of the Arts, was named a 2017 National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) Merit Winner in Dance/Modern.  Selected from the largest pool of applicants to date, Martinez was recognized for her outstanding artistic achievements and joins 691 of the nation’s most promising young artists from 40 states across the literary, visual, design and performing arts.

More than 10,000 students applied and Martinez was the only winner from California and just one of three west of Texas. She also trains at Evoke Dance Studio in Carlsbad.

The YoungArts National Foundation’s awards program honors artists ages 15 to 18 and is the sole nominating agency for the U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts honor.

The winners, meanwhile, receive awards, opportunities to participate in YoungArts programs nationwide and engage with renowned mentors and guidance in taking important steps toward achieving their artistic goals.

“YoungArts is thrilled to announce our 2017 Winners, all of whom represent the very best of the next generation of artists in this country,” said Carolina García Jayaram, YoungArts’ president and chief executive officer, in a press release. “As we welcome new finalists to Miami each January, and engage hundreds of winners nationwide through our regional programs thereafter, it becomes increasingly clear how much this organization has grown — and continues to grow — into an astounding network of emerging and professional artists, and one with global reverberations.”

Selected through a blind adjudication process conducted by an independent panel of highly accomplished artists, the 2017 winners represent the top 8.67 percent of applications. Of this year’s winners, some have been awarded for excellence in multiple disciplines at various levels.

Altogether, 713 awards have been attributed: 166 have been named finalists, the organization’s highest honor, 268 are honorable mention and 279 are merit winners.

All Winners are eligible to participate in YoungArts’ regional programs, including YoungArts Miami (Feb 21 to 26), Los Angeles (March 28 to April 2) and New York (April 25 to 30).

Martinez will become part of the organization’s expansive alumni network of leading professionals, including recording artists Josh Groban (1999 winner in theater); actors Viola Davis (1983 winner in theater) and Kerry Washington (1994 winner in theater); and 2015 “So You Think You Can Dance” winner Gaby Diaz (2014 winner in dance).

Lin and Ted Arison established the National YoungArts Foundation in 1981 to identify and nurture the most accomplished young artists in visual, literary, design and performing arts and assist them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development.

Through a wide range of annual programs, regular performances, and partnerships with some of the nation’s leading cultural institutions, YoungArts aspires to create a strong community of alumni and a platform for a lifetime of encouragement, opportunity and support.

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