Young Texas Artists Sees Bright Future

Fine arts group raises $100,000 for annual fund, releases YTA Insights: Episode 2

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas – May 20, 2021 – May has been an exciting month for Young Texas Artists (YTA): Community members rallied to help the nonprofit meet the YTA Leadership Team’s $50,000 Matching Grant Challenge, allowing the fine arts group to raise more than $100,000 in just 35 days. And this Sunday, May 23, the organization will present Episode 2 of YTA Insights—A Journey Into the World of Classical Music.

“While 2021 has certainly come with challenges, we have so many reasons to be grateful and excited about this year and what lies ahead,” said Susie Moore Pokorski, President/CEO of Young Texas Artists.

“That conviction, the confidence that we can continue to be impactful, is why we named our first annual fund Silver Linings, The Campaign for Young Texas Artists. We’re tremendously thankful for each community member who shares our optimism and made invaluable financial contributions to our future. Because of their support, YTA will be better equipped than ever to help struggling young musicians and contribute to the cultural life of our communities.”

Earlier this year, the YTA Leadership Team offered to support the Silver Linings Campaign by matching every gift, dollar for dollar, by May 15, up to $50,000.

Thanks to a strong response from the community, YTA met the challenge: It received more than $50,000 in donations in time for the deadline, and the YTA Leadership Team matched it, resulting in $100,000 for YTA. This will especially help YTA double the prize money and other awards in the Young Texas Artists Music Competition.

This fall, to honor donors of $250 and above, YTA will present a special performance and party chaired by board member Mimi Sadler.

The $50,000 Challenge Leadership Team includes:

  • Carol and Dr. Douglas Aycock
  • Annette and Ken Hallock
  • Janie and Richard Kobes
  • Susie and Jim Pokorski
  • Mimi and Alan “Barb” Sadler
  • Amy and George Sowers
  • Gabriele and John Tryon

“We can’t thank our community supporters and the leadership team members enough for their contributions, said YTA Treasurer Leland Dushkin. “Because of them, we’ll be able to resume our annual music competitions next year and do even more to help emerging classical artists. Pandemic-related cancellations have been brutal for these young musicians, and we’re grateful to be able to help them.”

Now YTA is preparing for the debut of the second episode of its video series, YTA Insights — A Journey Into the World of Classical Music.

The video will be available to watch at 7 p.m. CDT Sunday, May 23, on YTA’s Facebook page,

Episode 2, which will focus on classical voice, features performances by the Grammy-winning Houston Chamber Choir, Soprano Melissa Givens, and contestants in the 2019 YTA Music Competition.

Also woven into the video are interviews with Houston Chamber Choir Director Robert Simpson, Givens, and Roger Pines of Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Throughout the video’s debut on Facebook, viewers are invited to share questions for series host St. John Flynn, who will be monitoring the video post’s comments and responding.

Flynn, former Arts and Culture Director for Houston Public Media, currently is a writer, speaker, and arts and culture consultant.

“YTA Insights” has been made possible by a grant from the City of Conroe.

“Viewers truly will enjoy this video experience, which introduces the worlds of choral music, art songs and opera and the unique beauty each of them offers,” Pokorski said.

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 is 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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