I knew nothing, zero, about the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts. (Its name was eventually downsized to Young Arts.) Nor did anyone else I spoke to know anything about the Miami-based organization. But as a deeply committed believer in arts education, its mission was right up my alley: To offer 140 especially gifted high school seniors a chance to spend a week in Miami, a chance to be mentored by major artists, an opportunity to perform in New York City, and to win college scholarships. That first spring, my enthusiasm translated into a The New York Times story about the organization. The following spring, armed with more knowledge, and even greater enthusiasm, we successfully pitched and achieved: a front page daily Times story on a master class that Edward Albee gave to the Young Arts kids, a New Yorker Talk of the Town piece, a spot on the Today Show, and a nice piece (and full page photo) in Time Out. In June, we got a giant front page Arts & Leisure story that included major interview and photos of Lin Arison, who along with her late husband Ted, founded the organization. We were rocking and learning from some of the most irrepressibly talented kids in the United States.
Years: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Art form: Institutional