Arts Across Arkansas


This pilot program will encourage, enhance, and expand 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 at noon, Saturday, April 1, at Ron Robinson Theater in Little Rock where a cash prize will be awarded.

Nominations for 2023 are closed. 


  • 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

Nominations are closed for 2023. We'll update when nominations reopen.

Matt Boyce Headshot
Matt Boyce

Arts in Education Program Manager


2023 Finalists



Roman Kresse, Little Rock Central High

Alexxia Burks, Arkansas Arts Academy HS

Gwen Oliver, Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts

Hayoung Song, Thaden School

Hailey Wicker, Arkansas Arts Academy HS

Addison Reibling, Thaden School

David Rios, Thaden School

Remeia Smothers, Pine Bluff High School

Makenzie Kanable, Arkansas Arts Academy HS

Brooke Dumas, Arkansas Arts Academy HS

Anna Matowski, Rogers Heritage High School

Sarah Gattis, Arkansas Arts Academy HS

Langley Parrish, Arkansas Arts Academy HS



Chiu-Yi Rachel Ngai, Haas Hall Academy

Jack Lundgren, Harrison High School

Kaylah Atungulu, Haas Hall Academy

Hannah Simmons-Johnson, Little Rock West High School of Innovation

Kacie Koen, Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts

Ella Grissom, Haas Hall Academy



Chris Luneau, Harrison High School

Dina McElwee, Eureka Springs High School 

Sydney Bateman, Little Rock West High School of Innovation



Abigail Hedrick, Hot Springs World Class High School

John Jones, Studio of Linda Kennedy



Jessie Montgomery, Star City High School

Kadence Gibson, Star City High School

Mya Dodson, Harrison High School

Tayshaun Lewis, Star City High School

Maggie McGhee, Star City High School

Tristen Spivey, Star City High School  



Mikiya Smith, North Little Rock High School

Katelynn Plummer, Hot Springs World Class High School

Karahlyn Ker, Rogers Heritage High School

Lucy Jolley, Robinson High School

Elizabeth Wells, Russellville High School

Tanautica Cross, Hot Springs World Class High School