MAAE Student Essay Contest

Held in conjuction with MAAE's Fine Arts Education Day for students in Grades 3-12.

Students in grades 3-12 are invited to participate in the MAAE Fine Arts Education Day Essay Contest. A student may choose one of the following topics for the essay:

- How has music, visual art, dance (if it is offered in your school as a class) or drama (theatre) influenced you or your life as a student?

- Why is it important for every school to provide instruction in the arts to every child every day?

Essays should be no longer than 500 words and should be typed, double spaced, with a 12-point font using Word or a similar program. In the upper left corner, list the student name, grade level, name of fine arts teacher who submitted the entry, arts subject the teacher teaches, school name (district and building), school address and school telephone number.  Each essay can be uploaded into this form document as well as a 30 second video of the student reading the summary paragraph of the essay. Questions or concerns, contact  Melissa Cooper, Contest Coordinator.

The deadline for submitting entries is January 31st. One winning essay will be selected from entries by students in grades 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. A monetary prize of $50 will be awarded to the winning student in each category and $50 will also be awarded to the sponsoring fine arts teacher in each category to be used for supplies in their fine arts classrooms. The awards will be presented at the MAAE Fine Arts Education Day at the State Capitol in March.

Each student’s essay is protected by copyright the moment it is created. By submitting the essay to the MAAE, the student agrees to allow MAAE to publish the essay in print and/or online. All other rights remain the property of the writer (student).


Now accepting essay entries for the 2025 awards.

Previous Award Winners

MAAE 2024 Gr. 3-12 Arts Advocacy Essay Contest 

2022 - 
  • Grade 3-5 - Caris Clary - Windsor Street Montessori Columbia, MO - Teachers: Brenda McDonald, Matt Hall (Dominic Marchack, Windsor Street Montessori, Honorable Mention)
  • Grade 6-8 - Liam Reeves -Windsor Street Montessori Columbia, MO - Teachers: Brenda McDonald, Matt Hall (Lily Sherwood - Windsor Street Montessori - Honorable Mention)
  • Grade 9-12 - Mallory Moats, Rolla High School, Connie Shoemaker, instructor 
  • 2021-contest on hiatus - Recognition for essays in support of arts ed for students from Trinity Lutheran School, Orchard Farm - St. Charles County
  • 2020-Willow Garwood, 10th grade student at Calvary Lutheran HS in Jefferson City,  Teacher William Schatte, Theatre
  • 2019—No award given
  • 2018—Evelyn Neal, Van Horn HS, Independence
  • 2017—No award given
  • 2016—Madisyn Cornell, Milan HS
  • 2015—Delaney Lawson, Rolla HS, Mackensi Killbreth, South Valley Middle School, Liberty