Jan. 22, 2013/For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu



WINSTON-SALEM – A 2012 graduate of the high school program at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) received an honorable mention in the 2013 YoungArts Awards. Kassiane Patselas, a graduate of the Visual Arts program in UNCSA’s School of Design and Production, was recognized by one of the nation’s most prestigious award programs for artists under the age of 18.

From Jacksonville, N.C., Patselas is now studying at the Art Institute of Chicago. She entered artwork from her portfolio in the spring of 2012.

“This is a significant accomplishment for Kass,” said Will Taylor, director of the Visual Arts Program. “She has every reason to be proud, and we are very proud of her.”

Joseph P. Tilford, dean of the School of Design and Production, said Patselas has a bright future as an artist. “YoungArts has identified and recognized talented students who have gone on to successful and satisfying careers in the arts,” he said. “As an emerging artist, Kassiane can benefit tremendously from her association with the program.”

The National YoungArts Foundation was established in 1981 to help ensure that the nation’s most outstanding emerging artists are encouraged to pursue careers in the arts.  YoungArts provides emerging artists with life-changing experiences with renowned mentors, access to significant scholarships, national recognition, and other opportunities throughout their careers.

YoungArts has honored more than 16,000 young artists with more than $6 million in monetary awards; facilitated in excess of $100 million in college scholarship opportunities; and enabled its participants to work with master teachers who are among the most distinguished artists in the world, such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jacques d'Amboise, Plácido Domingo, Bill T. Jones, Quincy Jones and Martin Scorsese. In addition, YoungArts serves as the exclusive nominating agency for the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, the country's highest honor for artistically talented high school seniors.

YoungArts alumni who have gone on to become leading professionals in their fields include actresses Vanessa Williams, Viola Davis, and Kerry Washington; four-time Tony Award nominee Raúl Esparza; Executive Director of American Ballet Theatre Rachel Moore; recording artists Nicki Minaj and Chris Young; musicians Terence Blanchard, Eric Owens, and Jennifer Koh; choreographer Desmond Richardson; and internationally acclaimed multimedia artist Doug Aitken.


As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.