About Us

Welcome to the The National Society of Arts and Letters website.  We are a not-for-profit organization that encourages and provides financial assistance to talented young artists at the beginning of their careers. Founded over seventy years ago in Washington, DC, NSAL is comprised of seventeen chapters representing all regions of the United States. Members of NSAL are men and women engaged professionally in the arts, or who want to actively support the work of young artists.

National Awards Competition:

The hallmark of NSAL is its National Awards Competition which is held each year in one of the following categories: art (visual), dance, drama, literature, music (voice), music (instrument) and musical theater.  Participants in the National Awards Competition compete at the local chapter level for a series of monetary awards.  First-place winners of the local chapter competitions are sent to the NSAL National Competition which is held each spring during the Society’s annual meeting. Participants in the National Competition compete for a first place award of $10,000, and a series of other awards that can total another $10,000 or more.

Winston Scholarship Program:

A second important activity of NSAL is the annual Winston Scholarship Program for visual artists and vocalists. Each year scholarships totaling $18,000 – $20,000 are awarded to artists in these fields who are sixteen to twenty-two years of age. Supported by a generous endowment from Shirley Rabb Winston, these scholarships are used for special study in the recipient’s field.

Becoming a Member:

NSAL is always looking for new members. As a member of NSAL you will join a nationwide community of interesting people who share a commitment to promoting the arts through the support and encouragement of young artists.


NSAL welcomes donations from individuals, businesses, or organizations. Donations to NSAL have been used to support the endowment which funds our National Awards Competition, or to honor someone through the establishment of a named national award  fund in his or her name.  If you are interested in making a donation, please follow the link or contact me directly.

Thank you for your interest in NSAL!