Theater, Music and Art Scholarships

Looking for an acting scholarship? Or a scholarship for the arts in general? Find out where you can find them and how you can apply.

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Let’s face it: the arts aren’t exactly lucrative.

Hopefully, if you’re going to study acting, music, or fine arts in college you’re doing it for love – not for the money.

Fortunately, there is plenty of financial support for students of theater, art and music.

With the help of these and other scholarships, you won’t be a starving artist during your college years.

2011/2012 Arts Scholarships

Scholarships for the arts are almost always talent based. You should make sure you have a portfolio (or monologue, audition song, etc.) prepared, because once you’ve sent in your application, the second step will likely be an audition or interview. Here are some arts scholarships available, along with their requirements:

*Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship

Award: $2,500
Overview: The Irene Ryan Scholarship is awarded to the two winners of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF). Once you’ve advanced to the national “Evening of Scenes” round, you’ll present two two-person scenes (with a scene partner) and a monologue. A panel of judges determines the winners.
Requirements/eligibility: You must have completed six college semesters or an equivalent number of credits.
How to apply: If you’ve been selected by your theater professor to represent your college in the KCACTF, then you’ve already applied.

*Betty Garrett Musical Theatre Scholarship

Award: $2,000
Overview: This scholarship is given to top Columbia College musical theater majors to help with tuition and expenses. It’s not available to incoming freshmen, but you can apply after your first semester.
Requirements/eligibility: You must be a musical theater major at Columbia College with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and at least 12 credit hours.
How to apply: The online application is available through Columbia’s OASIS system. The application also requires a two- to three-page essay and two letters of recommendation. The deadline is February 15. Notification is sent by March 31.

*Hope College Distinguished Artist Awards

Award: $2,500
Overview: Hope College offers these renewable scholarships to outstanding artists studying visual art, creative writing, dance, music and all areas of theater.
Requirements/eligibility: For creative writing, you must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA and take at least one writing course per year. For all other disciplines, you have to declare a major or minor in the field in question.
How to apply: Application requirements vary based on your field of study. Check out the Distinguished Artist Awards website for more information.

*Iowa Scholarship for the Arts

Award: $1,000
Overview: Offered by the Iowa Arts Council, this award goes to Iowa high school seniors who intend to study the arts at an in-state college.
Requirements/eligibility: Applicants must be Iowa residents with proven artistic ability in dance, literature, music, theater, folk art or visual art.
How to apply: Complete the online scholarship application form (which includes an art sample, essay, and letters of recommendation) by February 1. Performing artists should send four copies of a sample CD or DVD, and writers should send four copies of a writing sample. The deadline is February 1.

*Francis D. Lyon Scholarship

Award: $3,000 ($1,000 for the runner-up)
Overview: UCLA graduate Francis Lyon established this fund for students seeking to become filmmakers.
Requirements/eligibility: Though it’s offered by the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, you don’t have to be a Phi Delta to apply. The award is open to anyone pursuing a film education in the coming academic year.
How to apply: Fill out the online application by March 15.

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