VSA Emerging Young Artists Program

About the VSA Emerging Young Artists Program
Our programs for artists with disabilities shape the future of the arts. The VSA Emerging Young Artists Program, a Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability Program, amplifies the voices of emerging artists with career development and professional empowerment. The competition seeks excellent work from emerging artists with disabilities residing in the United States.

This call invites artists to consider the intersections and combinations of their creative process and disability identity. In art, the juxtaposition of ideas can blur distinctions or reveal something new. This year’s theme, Merge, explores uniting paths and asks what we can learn when it all comes together.

Annual Amount

Fifteen winning artists are selected by jury. Grand Prize is $20,000, First Prize is $10,000, Second Prize is $6,000, and the remaining Awards of Excellence are $2,000 each. For winning artists, one of the submitted artworks will be selected for a national exhibition. Artists attend professional development activities provided by the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Additional Selection Criteria

• Artist must be between the ages of 16 and 25 during the application window. With the 2021 extended deadline, birthdates between March 1, 1994 and April 28, 2005 are eligible. 
• Artist must reside in the United States for at least nine months of the year.
• Artist must have a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.) This includes sensory, physical, cognitive, learning, socio-emotional disabilities and more. If selected, artist must be comfortable publicly identifying as an artist with a disability.

Application Process

To apply, go to:  https://artist.callforentry.org/agreetoterms.php?ID=7457&ArtistFairID=

Application Process
The application deadline is April 28, 2021. Artwork will be judged by a panel of experts looking for a high level of skill, expression of original ideas, and reflection of the Merge theme. 
To request an accommodation or receive the application materials in an alternate format, contact vsainfo@kennedy-center.org at least two weeks prior to the entry deadline.

In addition to portfolio, application includes a written biography (2000 characters or fewer), an artist’s statement (1000 characters or fewer), and optional demographic information.

FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION, GO TO:  https://artist.callforentry.org/festivals_unique_info.php?ID=7457
Contact Email: kmead@kennedy-center.org


April 28, 2021

For the application or more information go to: