Featuring performances by Tosca String Quartet, The Peterson Brothers, Blackshear Elementary Fine Arts Academy Chorus; Special presentations by honorary chair First Lady Cecilia Abbott & Special Guest Holland Taylor

The Texas Cultural Trust (TCT) is pleased to present the 2016 Texas Young Masters event, on April 25th at ZACH Theatre with honorary chair First Lady Cecilia Abbott and special guest Holland Taylor.  The Texas Young Masters is a joint initiative with the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) awarding 8th through 11th grade students scholarship grants of $5,000 a year for two years, and recognizing artistic excellence in students across all artistic disciplines – from dance, literary arts, and media arts/film, to music, theater, musical theater, and visual arts.  Since its inception in 2002, the TCT and TCA have given 263 grants to 124 previous Young Masters, awarding $707,500 to aspiring artists from across the state. Tickets on sale soon.  For more information, visit www.txculturaltrust.org.

The 2016 Class of Texas Young Masters will be awarded at an award ceremony and star-studded concert, with an Opening Reception at 6:00 pm, and Awards Ceremony at 7:00 pm. The Opening Reception will feature a Young Masters Lounge, complete with photo booth, signature “mock-tail,” and special performance by 2004 Young Master and violin virtuoso, Charles Yang. Described by the Boston Globe as one who “plays classical violin with the charisma of a rock star,” Yang started studying violin while a young child in Austin, and has gone on to international acclaim. He will also be performing during the show, in collaboration with 2014 Young Master and Carnatic percussionist Jay Appaji.

Multi-GRAMMY award winner and Trust board member Ray Benson will emcee the Young Masters ceremony, along with Majic 95.5 afternoon drive personality Juliet Brandon. The show will open with Blackshear Elementary Fine Arts Academy chorus. As the first elementary fine arts academy in Austin IDS, Blackshear used the arts to help increase enrollment by 20% and was recently named a National Blue Ribbon School. Austin’s Tosca String Quartet will also perform during the ceremony. Internationally known for their “Tango Nuevo” performances, the quartet has enjoyed crossover success by performing and/or recording with such artists as Arcade Fire, Spoon, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Schneider, and on the soundtrack to the arthouse classic Waking Life by Richard Linklater. The evening will come to a close with a rousing performance by local favorites, The Peterson Brothers Band. Thanks to inspiration from the legends of the past and present, The Brothers are helping keep the Blues alive, even with one still in high school and the other just starting college. In addition to their ever growing list of touring dates, including a Monday night residency at Austin’s renowned Continental Club, Glenn and Alex Peterson have been honored by the Austin Chronicle Music Awards, and were twice voted the Best Band in Bastrop County, in addition to having received accolades from The Dallas Examiner and The San Antonio Express-News.

The evening will also feature performances by previous Young Masters, including: Jared Brown, 2014 Young Master in Dance; Morgan Starr, 2010 Young Master in Dance; Jay Appaji, 2014 Young Master in Music; and violinist, Charles Yang. Honorary Chair, First Lady Cecilia Abbott will present the medals to the 2016 Class of Young Masters. Holland Taylor, EMMY winning actress, will also be a part of the show. Taylor is currently starring in Ann, a one-woman portrait of the legendary governor of Texas, for which she has been nominated for a Tony Award. Ann is currently running at ZACH Theatre.

The Young Masters program is made possible through the generous support of the following Program Founders:

AT&T Foundation, Anheuser Busch Foundation, Applied Materials, BNSF Railway, The Honorable David Dewhurst, Emerson Electric, Mrs. Gene Jones, Mr. George Mitchell, Mrs. W.D. Noel, Plum Foundation, Ray C. Fish Foundation, Raytheon.

Special thanks also to our scholarship underwriters:
Dr. and Mrs. Ernest Butler; Texas Women for the Arts; ExxonMobil; Neiman Marcus; the Scurlock Foundation; Lee Bailey, Friends of Jesùs Moroles; Dian Graves Owen Foundation, Guillermo Nicolas and Judy Robison.

For more information on the Texas Young Masters program, visit www.txculturaltrust.org/programs/young-masters.


The Texas Cultural Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to be the leading voice for the arts in education, advocacy, and economic impact in Texas, spotlighting the artistic excellence of our state.  Programs of the Texas Cultural Trust include the biennial Texas Medal of Arts Awards, Texas Women for the Arts, the Texas Young Masters, Arts & Digital Literacy, and Art Can. The Trust also supports the programs of the Texas Commission on the Arts and other qualifying state agencies. Since 2008, the Texas Cultural Trust has invested more than $3.2 million into arts awareness and education, bringing the total investment to more than $4.9 million.  For more information, please visit www.txculturaltrust.org


The Texas Young Masters Program is a joint initiative between the Texas Cultural Trust and the Texas Commission on the Arts, recognizing excellence in 8th through 11th grade in dance, theatre, literary arts, media arts, film, music, and visual arts. The program awards scholarship grants of $5,000 per year, for two years, nurturing our rising stars to become the Texas legends of tomorrow. For more information on the Texas Young Masters Program, please visit www.txculturaltrust.org.

Giant Noise
Public Relations/Media Inquiries
Phone: 512.382.9017
Email: tct@giantnoise.com
Address: 823 CONGRESS AVE
STE 707
Austin, Texas 78701

Website: txculturaltrust.org
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Texas Cultural Trust