Hamilton and Kinky Boots alum Blaine Alden Krauss is the inaugural recipient of YoungArts' The Ashley Longshore Excellence in the Arts Award.
In honor of musical theatre artist Patrick B. Hale, the award aims to support to artists at all stages of their careers. Winners receive an unrestricted $25,000 award and mentorship opportunities.
“Above anything, I am incredibly humbled to be given this award in the memory of Ashley Longshore's dear friend, Patrick B. Hale," says Krauss in a statement. "It is a testament that we never know the influence and legacy that our lives will leave. I am graciously reminded of lyrics I get to sing nightly on the tour of Hamilton, 'You have no control…who tells your story.' Well, I get to hold this honor in Patrick’s name and because of Ashley and YoungArts, I get to take this award and advance on my artistic pursuits, which simply is to be a reflection of the human experience. I am so incredibly moved and thankful."
“It is my dream to create a legacy of funding talent that deserves a chance to be seen," adds Ashley Longshore, the award's namesake. "I crave art in every area of my life. This year’s award is in honor of my dear friend Patrick B. Hale who was a grand presence in musical theatre in my hometown of Montgomery, Alabama. Artists need opportunity and a chance to share their vision with the world. I am so thankful for the opportunities I have been given, and giving back to creatives fills my soul with joy, enthusiasm and gratitude."
Krauss is currently starring in the national tour of Hamilton as the standby for Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. He made his Broadway debut in the two-time Tony Award-winning musical Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, and went on to appear in The Cher Show and Kinky Boots. He also starred in the second season of FX's Pose.