National Student Arts Advocate Award

In non-pandemic years, the annual National Student Arts Advocate Award gives a Missouri high school arts student the opportunity to go to Washington, D. C. in the spring to participate in the annual Arts Advocacy Day, sponsored by Americans for the Arts. The contest for the award is open to all Missouri high school students who participate in at least one arts program and are in good standing at their school.

We are now accepting applications for the 2023 National Student Arts Advocate Award. Open to Missouri students age 14 and up who participate in at least one arts education program, and who are students in good standing. Candidates will also participate in MAAE statewide arts advocacy initiatives of Show-Me Arts and Fine Arts Education Day. Annual Deadline for submissions - January 31.

Submit application here via googleforms


  • 2022 National Arts Advocacy Virtual Conference -TBD

  • 2023 MAAE Fine Arts Education Day - March 22, 2023

  • 2023 SHOW-ME training culmination event 3/21/23 learn more here.

(see below for details about the (1) resume, (2) letter of recommendation, (3) essay and (4) application form)

  • Congratulations to Peyton Lairmore, Owensville High School - the 2022 National Student Arts Advocate Award winner.

Mrs. Chris Sprague, music educator (at left) with Levi Baker (Bradleyville) - 2021 National Student Arts Advocate Award Recipient

Due to the global pandemic, the award winner in 2021, Levi Baker received a complimentary registration for the 2021, and 2022 virtual conference and 2022's in-person event, they received airfare, hotel and registration to attend.

Shown at left - SMarts Coordinator Andrea Branstetter and Levi Baker, May 2022 in Washington, DC.


To enter the National Arts Advocacy Student Delegate contest - the requirements are as follows:

1. Submit the following four documents—

  • A one-page resume that demonstrates work in the student’s chosen field of the arts and any advocacy work on behalf of the arts or arts education the student has done.

  • A letter of recommendation from one of the student’s arts teachers (only one, please)

  • An essay not to exceed 500 words on this topic—“Public Funding is support of the arts and/or arts education in important to our country.” You may focus your paper on either arts or arts education or both.

  • The application form signed by candidate, parent(s) and school officials confirming permission to travel and miss school for the duration of the trip.

2. The student must also register for and participate in the Show-Me Arts Advocacy Training Summit events. Click here to View SMarts details here.

3. The actual award ceremony typically occurs in Jefferson City at the annual Fine Arts Education Day celebration and award winners are invited to officially receive that honor.

Important conditions attached to this award—

If selected as the winner, I agree to:

  • travel to Washington, D.C. (when the conference is held as an in-person event) - as a part of the Missouri delegation to the National Arts Advocacy Conference, departing on Saturday, preceding the conference with a typical return on the Tuesday following the conference. Actual travel details will be determined in coordination with the winner in early February.

  • actively participate in MAAE's Show-Me Arts Summit and Fine Arts Education Day.

  • prepare and present a report about the conference attended, the learning gained and arts advocacy experiences there.

  • reimburse MAAE for any airline ticket change fees, or non-refundable registration, lodging or travel fees incurred associated with arrangements for a replacement delegate, if I am unable to travel to Washington, D.C. as part of the Missouri delegation after travel arrangements have been made.

  • behave responsibly and fully cooperate with sponsors while in transit and at the conference. Sponsor/supervisors will include the Executive Director of MAAE and may include other members of the MAAE board of directors.

Parents and/or teachers from the recipient’s school may attend the conference in Washington, D.C. with the winner, however, they will be responsible for all expenses they incur for the trip.

Parents should note that if the student fails to behave responsibly, fails to conform with expected behavior and/or fails to follow directions from adults in the group, the student may face consequences up to and including a return to Missouri at parent’s expense.

When you have prepared the documents and you are ready to submit your application, please use this online Submission Form to submit your 4 pieces of documentation.

Any questions or concerns about eligibility, rules, and travel or the application process should be conveyed to MAAE Executive Director,

This award is made possible through the generous support of the Francis Family Foundation.