Before my week spent observing the workshops and performances for winners of YoungArts Los Angeles, I knew of this program by reputation alone. I knew, for example, that it attracts some of the nation’s most promising young talent in the visual, literary, and performing arts. I also knew that after a week of master classes led by industry leaders, these emerging artists would then showcase their work and maybe win a scholarship while they’re at it.
What I didn’t know was that beyond the prestige of the competition and beyond the national acclaim, at its core, YoungArts is a community. It’s a professional network and a supportive family that can stay with you forever.
Behind the Scenes
My first clue about the impact of this community came when I was talking to Rebekah Lanae Lengel, Director of Artistic Programs. I had been asking her about the technical nitty-gritty when she mentioned that she was a YoungArts alum herself and was a finalist of the play writing division.