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Victoria Martinez, a sophomore from McAllen High School, is one of just 15 students in Texas to join the 2022 Class of Young Masters. This grant program provides outstanding art students with financial assistance to pursue their craft.

Exemplary art students in grades 8-11 may seek advanced study in visual arts, literary arts, music, theater, dance, musical theatre, folk and traditional arts plus media arts thanks to this generous grant.

Martinez, the only grant recipient from the Rio Grande Valley, is a member of the McAllen High theatre group.

“This is a highly prestigious award,” McAllen ISD Fine Arts Director Debra Loya said. “It is extremely competitive and only goes to a handful of students in the entire state. We are very proud of Victoria.”

The Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) and the Texas Cultural Trust (TCT) announced the grant recipients. These students received the title “Young Master” and have been awarded $5,000 per year grants to further their studies in their chosen discipline.

Students are eligible to receive the grant for two years, but they must submit a report and updated application. This is the 11th Class of Young Masters. Since the program’s inception in 2002, the TCT and TCA have named 184 Young Masters, awarding more than $1.2 million to aspiring artists in Texas.

“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,” TCA

Executive Director Gary Gibbs said. “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.”

The 2022 Texas Young Masters will be recognized on May 10 at ZACH Theatre in Austin. To support the Texas Young Masters program and for additional information on the event, including tickets, please visit

“The Texas Cultural Trust congratulates the 2022 Class of Texas Young Masters.” Chief Executive Officer of the Texas Cultural Trust Heidi Marquez Smith said. “The hard work, dedication and perseverance of these young men and women are inspiring and deserving of recognition. We are honored to support these exceptional rising stars as they develop into the Texas legends of tomorrow.”

To be considered for the Young Masters grant, students must be legal US residents living in Texas and participating in a school-based program, a summer institute, a specialized course of study or receiving private lessons from a qualified professional instructor. They must also maintain passing grades. 

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. 

The 2022 Texas Young Masters grants are sponsored by Sermoonjoy Fund, Sarah & Ernest C. Butler, Jeanne and Mickey Klein, Guillermo Nicolas and Jim Foster, Judy and Kirk Robison, Texas Women for the Arts, Whitney Hyder More, Erin and John Thornton, Leslie and Jack Blanton, Jr., and Southwest Airlines - the official airline of the Texas Cultural Trust.