Our mission is to encourage excellence in young Texas musicians, inspire their audiences and enrich the cultural life of our state.
From left to right, Bradley Mansell, Young Texas Artists Music Competition judge; violinist Clara Saitkoulov, YTA’s 2022 Grand Prize winner and Gold Medalist in the Strings Division; and Maria Schleuning, a competition judge. The 2022 Annual Fund will support YTA’s efforts to provide competition winners with cash prizes and performance opportunities and continue expanding the YTA Career Development Program. Photo by John Hallett.
Young Texas Artists’ Founder Establishes Matching Challenge Grant
All donations will be doubled through June 30
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas – May 31, 2022 –More than 35 years ago, when James A. (Jim) Pokorski helped establish Young Texas Artists (YTA), he created a wealth of opportunities for emerging classical musicians and Texas audiences. Now Pokorski is setting the stage for YTA to offer even more opportunities.
Pokorski has committed $25,000 to match, dollar for dollar, all 2022 Annual Fund gifts made by June 30.
YTA’s goal is to raise at least $50,000, which will help make it possible for the nonprofit to have a greater impact on young artists — and to create more memorable experiences for audiences.
All gifts received by June 30 will be doubled, dollar for dollar, up to $25,000.
“It’s tremendously rewarding to know that the modest event I helped organize in 1983 has grown into a highly respected music competition, one that has helped launch the careers of nearly 3,000 classical artists,” Pokorski said. “But we don’t want to stop there; we want to take YTA to the next level.”
The nonprofit organization developed its latest goals after receiving feedback from the young artists, nearly 90 altogether, who participated in YTA’s music, dance, literary and visual arts events this year.
“In visiting with these promising young people, we were touched by five recurring themes: gratitude for YTA, appreciation for the competition’s increased cash awards — made possible by our 2021 Annual Fund — the need for more live performance experience, the need for more paid bookings to sustain careers, and the lack of career training available to them,” YTA President/CEO Susie Moore Pokorski said. “And we were moved to take action.”
That action will include, with support from the 2022 Annual Fund, expanding the YTA Career Development Program for young artists and developing more paid performance opportunities and exposure for YTA alumni.
“Most schools and other music competitions do not offer career development to the extent of the YTA model,” said Jade Simmons, the successful concert pianist, brand development specialist and leadership lecturer who directs the YTA Career Development Program. “We focus more on a business mindset — training young artists to think more like business owners than freelance artists.”
YTA also wants to continue supporting young artists with cash prizes to help them offset costs related to lessons, coaching and auditions. Donations received during the 2021 Annual Fund allowed the YTA Music Competition to double its total cash prizes to $40,000. YTA will be relying on this year’s Annual Fund to keep prizes at that amount.
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 18-30 (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. youngtexasartists.org
Young Texas Artists is a member of the Greater Conroe Arts Alliance, the Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce, the Texas Cultural Trust and Texans for the Arts.
Young Texas Artists, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded and headquartered in Conroe, Montgomery County.
YTA Video Series
“YTA Insights — A Journey Into the World of Classical Music”
Experience the power, beauty, and emotion of classical music.
The complete series is now available on Young Texas Artists’ YouTube channel.