The Missouri Fine Arts Academy (MFAA) is a three-week summer residential program for highly motivated student artists in visual arts, theatre, dance, creative writing, and music. The Academy offers an intensive schedule of classes in interdisciplinary and discipline-specific arts, and a wide range of co-curricular activities. MFAA is conducted with the support and cooperation of Missouri State University, and is funded through program fees, grants, endowments, scholarships, and private donations.

Student Selection

The application period for MFAA 2016 runs from November 1, 2015 through January 15, 2016. The application, including a portfolio or audition video, essay, and student evaluation form, will be reviewed and adjudicated by a panel of artists and educators. Accepted students will receive an email of acceptance early in February.

Fees and Scholarships

While the 2016 Missouri Fine Arts Academy will be partially funded by Missouri State University College of Arts and Letters, participants will be required to pay a program fee:

Full Program Fee = $1,000

Level 1 Scholarship (for students who quality for Free Lunch*) = $250
Level 2 Scholarship (for students who quality for Reduced Lunch*) = $500

*Based on the federal government guidelines for eligibility for free and reduced price school meals. Applicants who qualify under these guidelines may apply for MFAA scholarships, even if they have not applied for free or reduced price meals at their schools. A certification of eligibility is required when the applicant accepts the invitation to the Academy.

Program fee payment may be made in two installments by check, money order or electronically through our website. Deadlines for payments are March 1 and April 15, 2016.

College Credit

Students who attend MFAA are automatically enrolled in IDS101/Interdisciplinary Seminar at Missouri State University at no additional cost, and receive three hours college credit upon successful completion of the MFAA program. This credit is generally transferable to any college or university program.

Missouri State University MFAA Scholarship

MFAA students who complete IDS 101 and who subsequently enroll as full time students at Missouri State University will receive a scholarship of three credit hours during their first semester of full time enrollment.


The concept of the Missouri Fine Arts Academy grew out of an interest in providing an opportunity and level of support necessary to challenge, motivate, and empower Missouri's most talented arts students to become future state arts leaders. In 1994, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requested that the Missouri Alliance for Arts Education convene and fund an Arts Academy Advisory Committee to visit and assess governor's schools for the arts in four different states. States visited include Arkansas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Following the onsite visits, a plan was developed that proposed a residential, state-affiliated academy designed to provide outstanding students in the arts an opportunity for in-depth study in a chosen arts discipline. During the 1995 legislative session, the arts academy concept was accepted and its funding approved.

During the summer of 1995, the DESE mailed requests for proposals to manage the academy to all colleges and universities in Missouri. Later, six sites were visited by a review team, and Southwest Missouri State University was selected as the location for the first fine arts academy, which was scheduled to take place in June and July, 1996. Dr. David Belcher, Dean of the College of Arts & Letters at the time, served as coordinator of the Academy, and Amy Muchnick, professor of Music, served as site lead teacher.