March 20, 2014

Todd Marshall
Director of Communications,
Marketing and Development
903.794.3651 ext. 1013

Texarkana Student Selected for 2014 Young Masters Class

Contact: Anina Moore, Texas Commission on the Arts
(512) 936-6573,

The Texas Commission on the Arts and the Texas Cultural Trust Award Grants to 20 Outstanding Student Artists

AUSTIN, Texas – March 18, 2014 – The Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) and the Texas Cultural Trust are proud to announce the 2014 class of Young Masters, a grant program that provides exemplary art students in grades 8-11 with the financial help they need to pursue advanced study in the areas of visual arts, literary arts, music, musical theatre, theatre, dance and media arts.

This year’s class of 20 student artists from across Texas includes a student from Texarkana: Catherine Thomas. With the Young Masters grant, Thomas plans to attend the American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp this summer in Staunton, VA.

The state’s most talented young artists receive the title of “Young Master” and are awarded grants of $2,500 per year to further their studies in their chosen arts disciplines. Students are eligible to receive the grant for two years, but they must submit a report and update application. This gifted group of 20 students represents the seventh class of Young Masters. The Trust and TCA have given 243 grants to 104 previous Young Masters, awarding $607,500 to aspiring artists over the past thirteen years.

“The Young Master 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. “These young artists earned the Young Masters title because of their outstanding artistic ability, talent and dedication to developing their knowledge in their chosen discipline. We congratulate their accomplishments.”

Additional students chosen to be in the 2014 class of Young Masters include: Sophie Anthony, Dallas; Jay Appaji, Plano; Nizhoni Begay, San Antonio; Jared Brown, Dallas; William Chiang, Plano; Ann Cho, Austin; Montana Dalton, Frisco; Christin Engelberth, San Antonio; Claudia Isabel Heymach, Pearland; Esther Liao, Houston; Hannah McEvilly, Austin; Meg Mickelsen, Dallas; Nina Pitts, Houston; Kian Raissian, Houston; Juanito Riveros, Rowlett; Sydney Shreve, Dallas; Anastasia Tillman, Fort Worth; Luke Westerman, Houston; and Katja Yanko, The Woodlands.

“The Texas Cultural Trust is honored to be able to support these remarkably talented young Texas artists,” said Trust Chair Charles W. Matthews. “We are thrilled to enable these Young Masters to continue their artistic education and foster their creative training.”

In order to be considered for the grant, students must be legal U.S. residents living in Texas and participating in a school-based program, a summer institute, or a specialized course of study or receiving private lessons from a qualified professional instructor. They must also maintain passing grades in all academic areas.

The Young Masters were selected by a citizen panel of experts from across the state based on artistic excellence, level of commitment and quality of their proposed plan of action.

Disbursement for this class of Young Masters will begin in the spring of 2014. The Young Masters program is made possible through the generous support of the contributors listed below.

Sponsors: Texas Women for the Arts, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Anheuser-Busch Companies, AT&T, HEB, Shell Oil Company, The Texas Tribune, BNSF Railway Company, Texas Monthly, Cadillac, Lee Bailey, Michelle K. Brock, Pam & Bill Fielding, Cami Goff, Karen & Charles Matthews, Sara Morgan, Guillermo Nicolas, Marita Parrish, Judy Robison, and Sherri & Travis West

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

About the 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

About the Texas Cultural Trust
Established in 1995, the Texas Cultural Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire, integrate, and illuminate the arts in Texas. Their goal is to provide leadership to promote and highlight the importance of the arts in educating our children and sustaining our vibrant Texas economy. Supporting the arts ensures Texas’ cultural and economic advantage for the future. For more information please visit

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