Local Students Awarded $10,000 to Support Their Artistic Pursuits

stage with people and lights

Fifteen Texas students will be awarded $10,000 each in scholarship grants to support their artistic pursuits

AUSTIN, TX [MARCH 7, 2024] – The Texas arts advocacy nonprofit Texas Cultural Trust (TXCT) and the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) announced today their 12th class of Texas Young Masters, a joint program designed to nurture rising young artists in Texas. Each recipient – 8th through 11th-grade students – will be awarded $10,000 in scholarship grants over the course of two years. The Trust will be honoring these fifteen young artists at their biennial Texas Young Masters celebration and awards show on April 16, 2024, at ZACH Theatre in Austin, Texas.


The Texas Young Masters program recognizes and invests in Texas students who have demonstrated excellence in dance, theatre, musical theatre, literary arts, music, visual arts, and other creative disciplines. These scholarship grants are designed to cultivate students’ unique talents and creative pursuits and help them realize their potential as the next generation of leading visionaries in the arts.


“As part of our mission to spotlight artistic excellence in the state, the Texas Cultural Trust is thrilled to announce the 2024 class of Texas Young Masters and support these deserving, talented young artists. We congratulate this year’s Young Masters and thank the art patrons, friends, family, and other supporters for elevating Texas artists and creative culture,” says TXCT CEO, Heidi Marquez Smith.

The 2024 Class of Texas Young Masters:

  • Adeline Dunlap, Dance (Ballet), Allen, 9th Grade

  • Adrianna Rodriguez, Theatre, Harlingen, 11th Grade

  • Aureus Morel, Music (Composition), Cedar Hill, 11th Grade

  • Beth Anne McGowan, Dance, Dallas, 11th Grade

  • Caroline Jacobson, Music (Voice), Spring, 11th Grade

  • Eva Rami, Literary Arts, Sugar Land, 10th Grade

  • Gisele Elise Wilson, Dance (Ballet), Dallas, 8th Grade

  • Gracelyn Weber, Dance, Savannah, 10th Grade

  • Hudson Pletcher, Dance, Frisco, 11th Grade

  • Lerchen Zhong, Music (Piano), Austin, 10th Grade

  • Madelynn Mircelle Gonzalez, Musical Theatre, Brownsville, 11th Grade

  • Matthew Scott, Music (Piano), Lewisville, 11th Grade

  • Nevaeha Wilson, Music (Voice), Keene, 9th Grade

  • Saj Baldwin, Visual Arts, Houston, 9th Grade

  • Valeria Velasco, Musical Theatre, San Antonio, 8th Grade

“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,” says 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 them on their accomplishments.”

Event Chairs: Sarah & Dr. Ernest Butler


Two-Year Scholarship Sponsors: Sarah & Ernest Butler Endowed Young Masters Award in Music, Kelli & Eddy Blanton, Guillermo Nicolas & Jim Foster Art Fund, Judy & Kirk Robison, Sermoonjoy Fund


One-Year Scholarship Sponsors: AT&T, Laura & John Beckworth, Deutsch & Deutsch, Mindy Ellmer and The Honorable Charlie Geren, Dan W. Jackson III & Dr. Jeremy Guiberteau, Whitney Hyder & Doug More, Nancy & Jud Murray, Cabrina & Steven Owsley, The Quaid Group, Karen & Karl Rove, San Marcos Toyota, Pam & George Willeford, Trisha Wilson & Jeb Terry, Isha Rogers & Steve Santamaria in Honor of Dede Rogers


Host Committee: Leslie & Jack Blanton, Jr., Mary Rose Brown, Kat Cotroneo, Dr. Kelley & Pat Frost, Davis Kaufman PLLC, Sara Carter & Ralph Manak, Laura & Noah Lit, Lisa Hannusch & Lisa Richardson, Alex Scull, JKS by Design


Champion Sponsors: Gay & Lee Gaddis, Jameen & Jon Jacoby, Lesa & Bill Rossick


Young Masters Supporters: Texas Monthly, ZACH Theatre, Arts and Culture Texas, Austin Way, PNC Bank