Young Texas Artists Receives $50,000 Matching Grant to Support First Annual Fund

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas – May 5, 2021 – Young Texas Artists (YTA), a one-of-a-kind fine arts organization best known for the YTA Music Competition, has received a generous Matching Grant Challenge to move the organization closer to reaching its $250,000 annual fund goal.

All gifts received by May 15 will be doubled — matched dollar for dollar — up to $50,000.

This will help donors have an even more meaningful impact on valuable YTA programs and services, from the organization’s competition to performance opportunities and career-development programs for emerging classical artists.

The annual fund, a first for YTA, will continue through June 30.

To donate, see the fund brochure at

“As of early May, we’ve already received $34,000, but we still need community members’ help to reach our goal,” said Susie Moore Pokorski, President/CEO of Young Texas Artists. “Their support will allow us to double our competition’s prize money and other awards and extend benefits to YTA alumni. For so many of our classical musicians, the lockdowns have been devastating.”

YTA named its 2021 annual fund Silver Linings, The Campaign for Young Texas Artists, in the spirit of hope and determination. While the COVID-19 pandemic forced YTA to cancel 2020 and 2021 programming, the organization is focused on a brighter future.

“YTA was seriously challenged by the cancellation of our 2020 and 2021 seasons,” Pokorski said. “However, the challenges are offset by many silver linings — unparalleled opportunities to rebound and serve our current artists, alumni, audiences and communities better than ever before. The future is promising!”

The cash prizes that YTA provides competition winners are invaluable to classical artists just beginning their careers. And for some medalists in 2020, the prizes were a lifeline.

“The cash award I received from the Young Texas Artists competition ended up paying my rent,” said countertenor Michael Skarke, YTA’s 2020 silver medalist in voice. “The pandemic had just started, and I lost all my contracts. On a normal basis, those cash awards can supply the next 10 auditions and the next five weeks of groceries.”

Mezzo-soprano Brennan Blankenship, 2019 gold medalist in voice, said she is grateful she was selected to be a YTA contestant.

“As a Texas resident, it’s so nice to have a competition that extols such high artistic values,” Blankenship said.

For more information about the Silver Linings campaign, visit

About Young Texas Artists:

Young Texas Artists, founded in 1983, is a one-of-a-kind nonprofit presenter of music competitions and events, career development programs and cultural enrichment outreach. The nationally acclaimed Young Texas Artists Music Competition and the YTA Career Development Program provide professional guidance, mentoring and highly-sought performance experience. An Official Music Competition of the State of Texas, it is one of the few competitions in the nation with four performance divisions: Voice; Piano; Strings; and Winds, Brass, Percussion, Harp and Guitar. The YTA contest is open to classical artists, ages 18-32 (20-32 for Voice), who are Texas residents or affiliated with a Texas music school.  Over the years, Young Texas Artists has helped produce many distinguished professionals who have gone on to join orchestras, opera companies, universities and music schools around the world.


Young Texas Artists a member of the Greater Conroe Arts Alliance, the Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce, the Texas Cultural Trust and Texas for the Arts.

Young Texas Artists, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded and headquartered in Conroe, Montgomery County.


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