Generous support for educational programs at the Kennedy Center is provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Each year, outstanding young musicians from around the world receive the VSA International Young Musicians Award, $2,000, and the opportunity to participate in professional development and performance opportunities provided by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
This program is open to U.S. and international musicians and ensembles of any genre or instrument, including voice. Multiple winners will be selected by a panel of music professionals. You must be between 14 and 25 years old at the time of the application deadline to be eligible. Any musical ensemble, including bands, of two to five members can enter so long as all members meet the age requirements and at least one member of the ensemble has a disability. Disability is a broad umbrella that covers a variety of lived experiences. Eligible young musicians may have visible, physical, and/or sensory conditions, as well as less visible conditions like anxiety, ADHD, chronic illness/pain, PTSD, dyslexia, neurodivergence, and more.