Missouri Arts Olympiad

Official Dosomething.org Project

The Problem

The Missouri Arts Olympiad is a project that got its start at an unlikely place -- a Science Olympiad competition. The idea struck that youth in the arts and humanities have limited exposure to competitions, awards, and prize money for their accomplishments and talents, unlike their science-oriented peers. While there are a few fringe, grassroots projects around the country that attempt to cater to this isolated group of talented students, the goal of The Missouri Arts Olympiad is to serve high school students in the state by recognizing their talents and to award scholarships for winning students as they go on to college. The Missouri Arts Olympiad seeks to serve the entire population of student artists in Missouri, but as a grassroots effort, the Olympiad would at first cater to mid-Missouri with plans for eventual growth and development as the project establishes a name for itself. A competition that would play host to talented, promising students in the fields of creative writing, studio art, theatre, and music is much needed in order to encourage a respect and recognition for the arts, as school programs are being cut due to the limited budgets of public schools and non-support. The project is currently being developed through my "Vision Project" for the Chancellor's Leadership Class at the University of Missouri-Columbia. It is currently in an infancy stage, with the initial idea set and confirmed. It is being shopped around to various art-friendly vendors and supporters throughout mid-Missouri, as the project seeks sponsors for publicity and other needs of the operation, such as food to be provided at the day of the event. Contest judges will be selected from the arts community of mid-Missouri, which includes professors in the arts and employees and volunteers of art-oriented after school programs. The most important need of The Missouri Arts Olympiad is a financial boost. As we seek to provide an experience similar to Science Olympiad, money for scholarships and monetary awards is needed. Currently, the project is searching for potential donors from private and commercial sources. It is also hoped that The Missouri Arts Olympiad would also be able to provide an endowment for a "Best in Show" student winner, which would help a promising student artist finance materials, tools, and other necessities to successfully realize their creative pursuits. Countless student artists in Missouri deserve a competition to look foward to, where they can display their abilities and hard work. They deserve an institution that reinforces the idea that endeavors in art of all kinds are noble pursuits, not mere hobbies. The Missouri Arts Olympiad hopes to give them that golden opportunity for recognition and growth.

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