Arts Across Arkansas


This program encourages, enhances, and expands student's original thoughts, processes, personal experiences and artistic abilities. The goal of Arts Across Arkansas is to give high school students the opportunity to be rewarded for their original creative works. 

With the Arts Across Arkansas program, teachers can nominate their students to enter a preliminary work for submission. Multiple students from one school may submit for the preliminary round in their selected medium of music composition, dance choreography, literary arts, visual arts, photography and film. Students can submit to multiple mediums.

Teaching artists from the Arkansas Arts Council’s Arts in Education Roster will then judge the applicants in their respected fields, narrowing the selection of applicants to 5-10 as finalists per medium. After the selection is made, an AIE artist will spend time virtually, or in person with each finalist, mentoring and guiding the student as they go through their creative process with the work they originally submitted. Students may change, edit or redo their work before submitting the final product for the state finals.

This mentoring process will encourage students to discover the hurdles of creative, original work, while enhancing their problem-solving abilities, all while remaining in their own creative space. 

The program culminates in a state finals event to be held in the spring. Cash prizes are awarded during the event. Students must be present at finals event to qualify for cash prizes.

If a student placed first last year, they are not eligible to participate this year.

More photos are available via our social media pages.

A student stands beside her artwork



  • Music Composition - Students who create original music compositions, including songwriting, must submit written, original works, along with an audio version. The written music may be sheet music, musical notation, tablature, chords, etc., and may include multiple instrumental components. The original work may be in any music genre. Chosen works must be performed at the state final.


  • Photography - Students in this medium can submit original photographic images in any format or size, but the image must be submitted via a shareable file for review. Images may be uploaded to free, public platforms, such as Google Drive, for sharing. Works must be 8”x11” to be displayed at state final event.


  • Literary Arts - Writers in all genres may submit literary works in any field, but all works must be original. These works include but are not limited to nonfiction prose (biography, news articles, essays, journals, letters, creative nonfiction works, etc.); fiction prose (novels, novellas, short stories, longform, flash fiction, micro-flash fiction, hybrid fiction, etc.); heroic prose (legends, sagas, fables); poetry (narrative poetry, slam poetry, free-verse poetry, traditional poetry, sonnets, stream of consciousness poetry, lyric poetry, acrostic poetry, haiku, etc.); and screenwriting or playwriting (monologue, musicals, operas, series, movies, and traditional and experimental works). Works must be original, but do not need to be published.


  • Film - Students in any category of filmmaking or videography may submit their original works in an mp4 format that is uploaded to a shareable platform. Original, submitted works must be between 5 and 10 minutes long. Works in this medium include but are not limited to movie, documentary, docudrama, stop-motion animation, computer-generated animation, traditional animation, series work, vlogs, shows, commentaries, and more. Work may be shot with traditional film but must be submitted as a digital product. All participants must screen their works during the state final event. Submissions cannot include any illegal behavior, explicit language, vulgarities or obscenities. Standards must meet Federal Communications Commission regulations for TV broadcasts between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.


  • Dance Choreography - Students may submit dance choreography in any style or in multiple dance styles. All work must be original. There are no requirements on how many dancers are needed for the piece. The work must be submitted via video for review. Video should be in mp4 and uploaded to a shareable file. Chosen students must participate in the state final event. Students’ work must be performed at the state final event.


  • Visual Arts - Artists in all 2D and 3D genres may submit work to participate in the program. All work must be original. Visual arts categories include but are not limited to painting in all mediums and on any surface, mural work, mixed media, digital art, sculpting, pottery, screenprinting, printmaking, metalworking, textile work, traditional and contemporary crafting, woodworking, costumes or staging, multimedia, multisen - sory, AI-aided art, 3D graphic design, graphic novel or visual storytelling, experimental art, architecture, fashion design, etc. Students whose work is chosen for the program must exhibit during the state final event.

Program Benefits

  • The opportunity to create original work and receive feedback from an Arkansas Arts in Education professional
  • Mentorship with a professional artist in their chosen medium
  • Presenting their original work in the state finals event
  • Cash prizes for top three submissions of each medium
Arts Across Arkansas 2023 Finalists
Matt Boyce Headshot
Matt Boyce

Arts in Education Program Manager

Arts Across Arkansas Winners 2024


Literary Arts

1st Place – JJ Stone – El Dorado High School

2nd Place – Laynee DeJarnette – Eureka Springs High School

3rd  Place – Caroline Buxton – Siloam Spring High School and Homeschool


Music Composition

1st Place – Alexander Back – Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts

2nd Place – Grace Adams – Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts

3rd Place – Ethan Chen – Maumelle Charter High School/Studio of Linda Kennedy



1st Place – Corbin Pitts – North Little Rock High School

2nd Place – Calen Long – Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts

3rd Place – Madelyn Terry – Star City High School


Dance Choreography

1st Place – Madison Robinson – Little Rock Central High School

2nd Place – Catherine McCraw – Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School

3rd Place – Jamisyn Johnson – North Little Rock High School



1st Place – Clint Newton – Star City High School

2nd Place – Keith Massey – Hillcrest High School

3rd Place – Cadyn Mizell – Star City High School


Visual Arts

1st Place – Gwendolyn Oliver – Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts

2nd Place – Olivia Busby – Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts

3rd Place – Addison Reibling – Thaden School

High school students line up in three rows and pose before competing.

Forty-nine high school students competed in six arts categories – from dance choreography to music composition – this past Saturday, March 30, during the state finals of Arts Across Arkansas, the Arkansas Arts Council’s mentorship and support program for young creatives.