Your community matters

Wake Forest student earns National YoungArts Foundation merit

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


MIAMI — Adithya Koshy Vaidhyan, who has grown up in Wake Forest and whose Combo, Jazz Impressionists, play frequently at the Farmers Market & Wake Forest Coffee Company as well as other town of Wake Forest events, has been named a 2020 National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) Merit winner in Jazz saxophone.

Vaidhyan is currently a senior at Raleigh Charter High School and he’s been recognized for his caliber of artistic achievement. He joins 686 of the nation’s most accomplished artists in the visual, literary and performing arts and was selected based on the caliber of artistic achievement by an esteemed discipline-specific panel of artists through a rigorous blind adjudication process. This year’s award winners represent the top 9.5 percent of applications across 10 artistic disciplines.

YoungArts award winners gain access to one of the most prestigious programs for emerging artists in the U.S. in which they will have opportunities for creative and professional development throughout their entire careers. A complete list of the 2020 winners, all 15-18 years old or in grades 10-12, is available online at

“Every year I am reminded that extraordinary artistry is ageless and the 2020 YoungArts award winners — all teenage artists — have done it again,” said board chair Sarah Arison. “This group of emerging talent represents the inspiring potential of the next generation of artists. We look forward to welcoming them to the YoungArts community of leading artists and are thrilled to support their work from this early stage and throughout their careers.”

“Jazz to me is a voice of progress and I hope to move the world forward by sharing my ideas and experiences through America’s rich musical tradition,” Vaidhyan said.

As a 2020 YoungArts award winner, Vaidhyan will be invited to participate in one of the organization’s regional programs YoungArts Miami (Feb. 25 – March 1), YoungArts Los Angeles (March 24-29) and YoungArts New York (April 21-26) which provide emerging artists with master classes, workshops and mentorship from leading artists in their fields.

On July 1, Vaidhyan will join the 20,000-strong YoungArts alumni community and will receive ongoing support from the organization as they continue to pursue a life in the arts. YoungArts award winners are eligible for exclusive opportunities such as fellowships, symposia and residencies in Miami, Los Angeles, New York and abroad; presentation opportunities at major institutions such as Jacob’s Pillow (Massachusetts), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.), New World Center (Miami), Sotheby’s (New York), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (Los Angeles) and the Watermill Center (New York); and the opportunity to work with directors and curators such as Derrick Adams, Deana Haggag, Bill T. Jones, Jasmine Wahi and Tony Yazbeck.

They will also have access to YoungArts Post, a custom online platform for YoungArts alumni to connect, collaborate and learn about additional opportunities such as microgrants, cash awards that support expenses related to professional or artistic development.