Indian American Pavithra Nagarajan Nominated as Presidential Scholar of the Arts

MIAMI, FL (February 2016) –The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) recently announced the nominees for the 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, which is one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.

Indian American Pavithra Nagarajan is one of the 60 people nominated as 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts by the National YoungArts Foundation. She has been nominated in the classical Indian dance discipline.

The 60 candidates will be reviewed by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, which will select 20 high school seniors to be recognized as U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts for their academic and artistic accomplishments, leadership responsibilities, community service and outreach initiatives, and overall creativity. In June, the 20 Art Scholars will join the other 141 U.S. Presidential Scholars from across the country for the National Recognition Program in Washington, D.C. During the program, all Scholars will receive a Presidential Medallion presented on behalf of the President of the United States and participate in several other recognition activities. The 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts will present their work at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts through a special exhibition and performance.

YoungArts is an important nominating agency for this high honor, and the 60 candidates, representing 20 states, the District of Columbia and 10 artistic disciplines, are all YoungArts Winners.

The students were nominated to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program for their artistic achievement, following the organization’s annual signature program, National YoungArts Week, which concluded in Miami on January 10.

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The U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts nominees are actors, dancers, singers, classical and jazz musicians, photographers, filmmakers, visual artists, designers and writers. Once selected, the 2016 awardees will join an illustrious group of YoungArts alumni, including Tony Award-nominated performer and choreographer Desmond Richardson; Los Angeles Music Center President Rachel S. Moore; novelist and National Book Award Finalist Allegra Goodman; Grammy Award-nominated violinist Jennifer Koh; BRAVO’s “Work of Art” winner Abdi Farah; OBIE Award-winning actress Donna Lynne Champlin; and RCA Records award- winning singer/songwriter and Grammy Award-nominated artist Chris Young.

The 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and details regarding the National Recognition Program and public festivities will be announced in the coming months. For additional information, please visit:

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