Four UNCSA students are recognized by the YoungArts national competition

Four high school students at UNCSA have placed in various categories of the 2023 YoungArts National Competition, which honors the nation’s most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts.

Applicants are recognized in three categories including merit, honorable mentions and finalists. Prizes include monetary awards which range from $100 to $10,000, the opportunity to participate in national YoungArts week, and be considered for nominations to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

Cristian Makhuli, a high school senior from Charlotte, won an honorable mention in the classical music category. He studies piano under alumnus and faculty member Dmitri Vorobiev (B.M. ’96.) Makhuli is a member of the Charlotte Piano Trio.

Justin Cho, a high school junior from Colfax, won an honorable mention in the film category for narrative work. He studies guitar under alumnus and faculty member Luke Payne (M.M. ’06.)

“I have been pleased with Justin’s musical development over the past two years,” said Payne. “I was surprised and delighted to see the work he had been doing in film. I am very excited that he has found this creative direction and I look forward to seeing what he will accomplish.”

Anna Uehlein, a high school senior from Takoma Park, Maryland, won an honorable mention in the drama category. She studies in the high school drama program and also participates in climate activism, advocacy and education.

Eboni Louigarde, a high school sophomore from Concord, won a merit award in the visual arts category. She studies in the Visual Arts Program of the School of Design and Production under Kaitlin Botts, alumnus and faculty member Aaron Pennington (H.S. Visual Arts ’08) and Assistant Dean and Director of Visual Arts Will Taylor.

YoungArts alumni who have gone on to become leaders in their fields include choreographers Camille A. Brown, a UNCSA Dance alumna, and Desmond Richardson, speaker at the UNCSA 2019 high school commencement; actresses Viola Davis, Anna Gunn, Zuzanna Szadkowski and Kerry Washington; Broadway stars Raúl Esparza, Billy Porter, Andrew Rannells and Tony Yazbeck; recording artists Josh Groban, Judith Hill and Chris Young; Metropolitan Opera star Eric Owens; musicians Terence Blanchard, Gerald Clayton and Jennifer Koh; visual artists Daniel Arsham and Hernan Bas; internationally acclaimed multimedia artist Doug Aitken; television writer, producer, and director Jenji Kohan; New York Times best-selling author Sam Lipsyte; and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Doug Blush.

About YoungArts

YoungArts’ signature program is an application-based competition for emerging artists ages 15-18 or in grades 10-12. Selected through a blind adjudication process conducted by an independent panel of highly accomplished artists, YoungArts winners receive financial awards and creative and professional development experiences working with renowned guest artists. Joining a 20,000-strong alumni community, YoungArts award winners form a rich network of peers that provides support and opportunities throughout artists’ careers.

Contact Media Relations

Get the best news, performance and alumni stories from UNCSA.

January 05, 2023