Who may apply
Any current high school sophomore, junior, or senior may apply to attend the Missouri Fine Arts Academy in the following areas of study:
- Visual Arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, photography, digital art)
- Theatre (acting)
- Dance (modern, ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop)
- Creative Writing (fiction, short story, poetry, playwriting, spoken word)
- Music (vocal or instrumental performance, songwriting, composition, electronic music)
To apply in another artistic discipline, please contact MFAA at firstname.lastname@example.org or 417-836-6607.
$985 per student
The Reynolds College of Arts and Letters at Missouri State University works with the Missouri state legislature in managing the affordability of the Academy. Cost of attendance is partially subsidized with funding provided by the state in concert with privately-supported scholarships. If program cost is a barrier, please indicate the need for private scholarship.
MFAA applications accepted Nov. 5, 2021 - March 20, 2022.
When applicants click "Apply," they are redirected to the Submittable service website to complete a student application form that includes the following required application/portfolio materials:
EssayIn about 500 words, describe how your involvement in the arts impacts your life and how you imagine the interdisciplinary and collaborative experiences of MFAA might help you grow as an artist and person.
You may type your essay in a separate document and upload using the Submittable service.
Student evaluation by school personnel
When prompted by the Submittable service, provide the email address of a teacher, counselor, or other school official who knows you well. He/she will receive an email with a simple web form for uploading a completed MFAA Student Evaluation form. Please provide him/her this form. (For best results, use Adobe Reader to fill out the form.)
A portfolio (digital or physical) for visual artists and creative writers, or a video performance for actors, dancers, vocalists, and instrumentalists, or audio files/scores for electronic musicians/composers.
Closely follow Portfolio and Video Performance Preparation Guidelines below.
Your application is not complete until all these items are received.
For more information or assistance, contact MFAA at email@example.com or 417-836-6607.
Portfolio and Video Performance Preparation Guidelines:
Preparation Guidelines and adjudication criteria for all disciplines are included
below. Use the guidelines for your artistic discipline to prepare your portfolio or
video performance. Portfolios and video performances may be submitted by posting to
YouTube, Vimeo, or other Website, and providing MFAA with the link.
If you are required to submit a video (see discipline specific guidelines below):
- Announce your name, school name, and the title and composer (or choreographer or playwright) of your first piece.
- Perform your first piece.
- Announce the title and composer (or choreographer or playwright) of your second piece.
- Perform your second piece.
Tips for recording your video:
Use a tripod, table, or other stable surface. Avoid direct natural light, such as a window or door. Shoot in a neutral, indoor setting. Make sure the camera remains focused on the performer.
Visual artists, creative writers, and electronic musicians/composers should follow the guidelines found below in the instructions for those disciplines.
If you are unable to submit your portfolio or performance video to YouTube or Vimeo, contact MFAA for other mail options.
Label your portfolio, performance video, or audio files with your name and the name of your school. Review your materials to verify that they clearly represent your work and conform to the preparation guidelines. Please note that MFAA is unable to return any mailed portfolio or video materials.
In addition to the guidelines below, all MFAA applicants must demonstrate strong potential to be a successful member of the Academy community.
Applicants must submit a performance video of two monologues demonstrating contrasting tones or styles. Each monologue should be no more than two minutes in length and should be memorized.
Analysis: The actor demonstrates ability to play objectives, make believable choices, and understands
Choice of Literature: The actor selects age-appropriate and content-appropriate monologues.
Stage Presence: The actor demonstrates the ability to engage the audience through honest characterization.
Applicants must submit a video performance of two solo pieces. Each piece should be no more than three minutes in length. Wear clothing that allows the adjudicators to clearly see your technical skill, especially the feet.
Technique: The dancer executes movement with coordination, musicality, balance, strength, and
Performance: The dancer demonstrates a range of dynamics, effective use of music, energy, flow, concentration, enthusiasm, confidence, a clear focus, and the ability to command space.
Style: The dancer demonstrates an understanding of the chosen technique and choreography.
Expressiveness: The dancer is able to secure and to hold the attention of the audience within the intent of the piece.
Applicants must submit a video performance of two solo pieces or excerpts representing contrasting styles and/or historical periods. Each piece should be no more than three minutes in length. Pieces should be memorized. Piano or other accompaniment may be used, but is not required.
Technique: The performer demonstrates technical mastery of pitch, rhythm, articulation, and
Expression: The performer demonstrates the ability to engage the audience through phrasing, dynamics, pronunciation, and other musical elements consistent with the style and/or period of the piece.
Applicants must submit a video performance of two solo pieces or excerpts representing contrasting styles and/or historical periods. Each piece should be no more than three minutes in length. Piano or other accompaniment may be used, but is not required.
Technique: The performer demonstrates technical mastery of pitch, rhythm, articulation and timbre.
Expression: The performer demonstrates the ability to engage the audience through phrasing, dynamics, and other musical elements consistent with the style and/or period of the piece.
INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC: SONGWRITING/MUSIC COMPOSITION
Applicants must submit a video performance or audio recording of two pieces or excerpts of pieces. Each piece should be no more than three minutes in length. Applicant should submit copies of scores if they exist. If you are submitting audio files, clearly label them with the title of the piece and your name.
Technique: The writer/composer demonstrates technical mastery of form, phrasing, orchestration,
Expression: The writer/composer demonstrates a unique creative vision and the ability to engage the audience through musical elements consistent with the style of the piece.
INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC: ELECTRONIC MUSIC
Applicants must provide audio files of two or three of their audio work. In the case of a project in which the audio is part of a video work, please provide that piece separately. These pieces can be all-digital works (created entirely in Logic, Reason or FL Studio, for example), or a mixture of digital composition and recorded audio. Recordings only of live instruments (i.e. recordings of a band) are not permitted. If your submissions are collaborations, they must be primarily the artistic vision of the applicant. Include the following information with your submission:
- Title of the piece
- Digital application(s) in which the piece was created (i.e. Reason, Logic, etc)
- Any aspects of collaboration, including names of collaborators and the specific role they played in the production/performance of the work
- Any information relevant to the function of the piece. Is it a stand alone work? Was it written for a specific project? Is it intended for radio play? Is it experimental?
- Any other information that the applicant feels is appropriate in the adjudication of the piece.
Technique: The work demonstrates technical mastery of digital audio production, including but
not limited to: quality sounds, proper mixing technique, proper formatting, and good
recording technique, where applicable.
Creativity: The work demonstrates a unique and aesthetically interesting artistic vision, regardless of style.
Applicants must submit a writing portfolio of at least two and not more than four original creative writing samples. Possible samples might include, but are not limited to, poetry, short stories, original stage play pages, or original screenplay pages. The applicant should limit submission samples to a representation of no more than five pages in a given medium. For example, a random (but compelling) scene from a stage play with a brief description of the scene context is appropriate. When preparing your portfolio label each creative writing sample with:
- Your name
- Name of your school
- Title of piece (if any)
- Medium of writing
- Context of work (if part of a larger piece)
- Creation date
Aesthetic Content: The writer is able to express feelings, emotions, and tone through the content and
form of the work.
Technical Ability: The writer understands and exhibits the use of structural techniques appropriate to the genre.
Concept: The writer explores original ideas that compel the reader to willingly suspend disbelief.
Applicants must submit a digital portfolio displaying images of at least four and not more than eight original artworks created since the beginning of high school. Your portfolio should reflect your breadth of skill, and may represent a variety of art forms. Three-dimensional pieces may be represented by up to two images, one being a detail shot. Two-dimensional pieces are limited to one image. When preparing your portfolio, display image(s) of each artwork and label each image with:
- Your name
- Medium of artwork
- Original size of artwork
- Creation date of the artwork
Save your portfolio as .jpg (.gif, .png, .pdf are also acceptable). Image resolution should be 72 ppi (pixels per inch) with a dimension in the 800-1200 pixel range. The image color mode should be set to RGB and not CMYK.
Tips for preparing your portfolio:
- Verify that your images are in sharp focus with correct colors.
- Photograph three-dimensional work from more than one angle, two-dimensional work from a center point.
- Shoot in “bright shade” rather than mottled sunlight, shade, or full sun.
- Maximize the work, minimize the background.
- Make each image fill the entire screen.
Aesthetic Content: The artist is able to express feelings, emotions, and/or a state of being through
content and form of work.
Composition and Design: The artist exhibits appropriate arrangement of principles and elements of design in an effective way that indicates understanding and ability for accurate application.
Technical Ability: The artist exhibits the use of techniques appropriate to the particular art form.
Conceptual Basis: The artist communicates ideas and represents theories about art and/or style of art.
Each year students are encouraged to apply for the Academy as early as the preceding fall in order to have the best chance of acceptance. 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. Selected students will receive an email letter of acceptance in early April.
Submit your application and portfolio for a life-changing summer arts program at Missouri State University.
Resident Assistants create an atmosphere that encourages students to take advantage of all that MFAA has to offer.
Learn what it takes to design courses for the Academy and to be a faculty member.