Texas Young Masters 2020 graphics

15 Texas Students Named Texas Young Masters

by Texas Cultural Trust

The 2020 class of Texas Young Masters will be celebrated online due to COVID-19 impact. Join us in funding scholarship grants for these outstanding young student artists in Texas!

AUSTIN, TEXAS (March 27, 2020) —The Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) and Texas Cultural Trust are proud to announce the 2020 class of Texas Young Masters, a joint program that provides exemplary student artists in 8th-11th grades with grants to pursue advanced study in their artistic discipline, including visual arts, literary arts, music, theater, dance, musical theater, folk arts, media arts and other. These 15 students represent the 10th class of Texas Young Masters and 11 Texas cities. Every biennium since 2002, the TCA and Texas Cultural Trust have awarded more than $1 million to 169 young Texans.

“The Young Masters grant program was created as a way to recognize and support young people pursuing the dream of becoming prominent Texan artists of the next generation,” said TCA Executive Director Gary Gibbs. “Young artists earn the Young Masters title through their outstanding artistic ability, talent, and dedication to developing their knowledge in their chosen discipline. We congratulate them on their accomplishments.”

Today, TCA Commissioners convened via conference call and unanimously confirmed the 2020 class of Texas Young Masters. These students are Texas’ most talented young artists and will receive the esteemed “Young Master” title and will be awarded scholastic grants of $10,000, disbursed over two years to advance their artistic study.


Jordan Apodaca, 11th grade, Dallas, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Dance
Ava Arbuckle, 9th grade, Frisco, iUniversity Preparatory School, Dance/Ballet
Hannah Bambach, 11th grade, Dallas, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Literary Arts/Playwriting
Haley Beck, 10th grade, Allen, Allen High School, Dance
Christian Burse, 10th grade, Dallas, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Dance
Claire Druffner, 11th grade, Dallas, Coram Deo Academy, Music/Cello
Vincent Garcia-Hettinger, 9th grade, San Antonio, Brandeis High School, Music/Cello
Colby Golightly, 11th grade, North Richland Hills, Richland High School, Visual Arts/Painting
Kali Kleiman, 11th grade, Frisco, iUniversity Preparatory School, Dance/Ballet
Cayden McCoy, 11th grade, League City, Clear Springs High School, Theater
Ellie Palacios, 10th grade, Harlingen, Harlingen South High School, Musical Theater
Isobel Perez, 10th grade, Houston, Kinder High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Literary Arts/Poetry
Keshav Srinivasan, 10th grade, Sunset Valley, Liberal Arts and Science Academy, Music/Violin
Michelle Wang, 11th grade, Sugar Land, Clements High School, Visual Arts
Somesh Yatham, 10th grade, Round Rock, Round Rock High School, Music/Orchestral Composition

“The Texas Culture Trust is pleased to recognize and support the education of these incredibly talented young Texas artists. As we celebrate the 10th class of Texas Young Masters in 2020, we hope to highlight the importance of the arts and arts access for all Texas students,” said Heidi Marquez Smith, executive director of the Texas Cultural Trust. “We are grateful for the benevolent support of Texas Young Masters sponsors and donors for investing in Texas’ creative future. These students will be the Texas legends of tomorrow.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebration scheduled for April 20, 2020, to honor these Young Masters has been cancelled. TCA and the Trust will continue to honor their commitment to fund their artistic study. These scholarship grants are made possible by the generosity of individual donors, organizations, and foundations. To fulfill this obligation, the Texas Cultural Trust has launched a crowdfunding campaign to benefit the 2020 grantees. In addition, these students will be introduced and recognized through videos to be shared over digital and social media in April and May.

The 2020 Young Masters grants are sponsored by the following: Sermoonjoy Fund ● Sarah & Ernest C. Butler ● Jeanne & Michael Klein ● Guillermo Nicolas & James Foster ● Judy & Kirk Robison ● Texas Women for the Arts ● Frost Bank ● Southwest Airlines – the official airline of the Texas Cultural Trust ● Wayne Fisher ● Regan & William Gammon ● Kevin Witcher

The 2020 Texas Young Masters Host Committee: Honorary Chair First Lady of Texas Cecilia Abbot ● Wendy Harvey, Chair ● Lesa Rossick, Chair ● Kristin Salyer, Chair ● Maya Smart, Chair ● Leslie & Jack Blanton ● Dan W. Jackson III & Dr. Jeremy Guiberteau ● Kathleen & Ben Keating ● Mary Lamar Leyendecker ● Karen & Charles Matthews ● Sharon & Lawrence Oeschger ● Margaret Payne ● Carolyn & Marc Seriff ● Nelda Trevino


About Texas Cultural Trust
Texas Cultural Trust is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and increasing access and awareness for the arts across the state. Programs of the Texas Cultural Trust include the Texas Medal of Arts Awards, Art Can, Texas Young Masters, Texas Women for the Arts, Partners in the Arts, and Arts Access. Texas Cultural Trust efforts are amplified by its partners who are instrumental in the success of leading a cohesive voice for the arts in education, advocacy, and economic impact in Texas, spotlighting the artistic excellence of our state. For more information on the Texas Cultural Trust, please visit www.txculturaltrust.org.

About Texas Commission on the Arts
TCA was organized in 1965 by the Texas Legislature to develop a receptive climate for the arts in Texas. TCA supports a diverse and innovative arts community in Texas, throughout the nation and internationally by providing resources to enhance economic development, arts education, cultural tourism and artist sustainability initiatives. For more information on TCA and its programs, please visit www.arts.texas.gov.

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