Young Artists Awards
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Young Artists Awards

The Topeka Performing Arts Center Young Artists Awards Program was conceived in 1995 to recognize Shawnee County high school juniors who excelled in fine arts. The program celebrates their contributions to the enrichment of their schools and their community, and to encourage students' continued achievement in the arts.

Annually in spring, any Shawnee County high school junior can be nominated in one of nine awards categories. A panel of judges reviews the nominees' work to choose the best in each category.

This program is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Hill's Pet Nutrition. Thank you for your support!

Application Deadline

Applications are now being accepted.

All submissions must be received by 6pm on Wednesday, March 31st. Entries received after this will not be considered.

Currently, the award ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, May 19th.
(Subject to reschedule due to Covid-19 restrictions and protocol that may be in place.)


Ballet/Lyrical/Modern Dance/Other Dance
Community Service in the Arts
Creative Writing/Poetry
Dramatic Theater
Instrumental Music
Musical Theater
Technical Theater
Visual Arts
Vocal Music

Nomination Guidelines

Unlimited nominations from each person, school or arts organizations are allowed. Students may nominate themselves, with proper verification of their student status.

Because of the generosity of Hill's Pet Nutrition, scholarships will be awarded to those with the highest overall competition scores.

We encourage you to nominate any deserving high school junior for any category. We do not limit the number of students you can nominate, although each nominee may only be entered into one category. Please take time to fill out the nomination form below for each high school junior that you feel excels in the arts. You may download the form and photocopy as needed as well.

Nominations will not be accepted after the deadline. Incomplete nominations will be disqualified.


Please review all guidelines before submitting an application.

Contact our marketing department with any questions.
785.234.2787 x104

Application & Bio Information

Complete the application and nominee’s biographical information; all applications must be legible; all nominees must currently be juniors in a Shawnee County High School enrolled in and passing at least five (5) high school classes.

Nominee Statement

Each nominee must attach a one-page, typed statement regarding his/her overall life goals and his/her vision of the role that art will play in his/her future.

Nominator Statement

Each nominator (including self-nominators) must attach a one-page, typed statement regarding why the nominee was submitted for the Young Artists of the Year Awards.

Videotaped or Written Presentation

Each nominee must prepare a videotaped introduction/audition for the judges EXCEPT for nominees for Creative Writing and Community Services in the Arts. Please view video submission guidelines for additional information.

Video Submission Guidelines

  • Videos must not be longer than four (4) minutes in duration; judges will terminate all videos when four minutes have elapsed and exceeding video will not be viewed.
  • All videos must include a self-introduction of the nominee not to exceed 60 seconds
  • Remaining time should be dedicated to showcasing nominee’s categorical talent
  • Presentation must be in audition, contest or performance format
  • Lighting must be adequate to easily see performance
  • Audio must be adequate to hear and understand the nominee’s presentation
  • Upload video to Vimeo ( and insert link into application. If you choose to keep the video private, please enter the password so we may download for the judges. This password will not be shared with anyone and kept private.
  • Group ensemble videos are discouraged unless student can be clearly identified.

Category Details

Vocal Music or Instrumental Music

  1. Accompaniments should not interfere with or distract from your talent.
  2. Do not use excerpts from past performances prior to the summer preceding application.

Musical Theater

  1. Accompaniment, costumes and background must not interfere with or distract from your talent.
  2. Excerpts from past performances should only be used if video quality is good and nominee is a solo performer.

Visual Arts

  1. May include any two or three-dimensional medium, including film and videography.
  2. Simply present and explain examples in nominee’s portfolio of visual arts.
  3. Do not use high-tech video graphics or transition process during the 4-minute presentation.
  4. If videography is nominee’s medium, special effects may only be used during segments of actual art presentation.

Technical Theater

  1. Simply show and explain examples in nominee’s portfolio of technical theater.
  2. Quality of video must not compete or distract from nominee’s talent.

Dramatic Theater

  1. Costumes and background must not interfere or distract from nominee’s work.
  2. Excerpts from past performances should only be used if video quality is good and nominee is easily identified.

Ballet/Lyrical/Modern/Other Dance

  1. Costumes and background must not interfere with or distract from nominee’s talent.
  2. Excerpts from past performances should only be used if video quality is good and nominee is a solo performer.

Creative Writing

  1. Must not submit video.
  2. Must submit a typed self-introduction;
    1. must not exceed one page.
    2. must be different from the nominee's statement.

Community Services in the Arts

  1. No video submissions for this category.
  2. Must submit a typed self-introduction.
    1. must not exceed one page.
    2. must be different from the nominee’s statement.
    3. must explain how nominee feels that community service has affected his/her life.

Please be sure the video you submit fairly represents your talent.

Judges are selected from professionals in their field. There are 3 qualified judges per category. Judges may be qualified for more than one category.


Young Artist of the Year Awards

This form is not available for upload from a mobile device. Please submit documentation and form through desktops only.

Student Contact Info


Extracurricular Activities

Awards Presentation

Will nominee be available for the awards presentation event?


Nominee Statement PDF format only.
Nominator Statement PDF format only
Paste Vimeo link here
Double-check accuracy
Terms & Conditions

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