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Cincinnati Arts Overture Awards

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The Overture Awards is a program that recognizes, encourages and rewards excellence in the arts among Greater Cincinnati students in grades 9-12. Its mission is to encourage arts education as an integral part of a student’s academic experience and to create an environment that encourages training in, and appreciation of, the arts. The Overture Awards Competition is the area’s largest solo arts competition and offers awards in six artistic disciplines: creative writing, dance, instrumental music, theatre, visual art, and vocal music.

Students may enter the Overture Awards competition through their high school, private teacher or studio, or through a home school. No individual applications are accepted. 

By completing the application, students agree to be available for the competition dates (see website for schedule). If you are not available on the competition dates, you are not eligible to compete. 

Applicants must be in grades 9-12 who study in the Greater Cincinnati region

Following counties constitute the “Greater Cincinnati” area:

State of Ohio

  • Adams
  • Brown
  • Butler
  • Clermont
  • Clinton
  • Hamilton
  • Highland
  • Warren

State of Kentucky

  • Boone
  • Bracken
  • Campbell
  • Gallatin
  • Grant
  • Kenton
  • Pendleton

State of Indiana

  • Dearborn
  • Franklin
  • Ohio
  • Ripley
  • Switzerland

Notes on completing the application:

  • You can enter in only one of the following disciplines: Creative Writing, Dance, Instrumental Music, Theater, Visual Art, or Vocal Music
  • Discipline Program Groups:
    • Creative Writing
    • Dance
    • Instrumental Music: Select program for specific Application. 
      • Brass/Woodwind/Percussion
      • Piano
      • String
    • Theater: Apply for “Theater” if you are performing 2 monologues or “Musical Theater” is you are performing 1 monologue and 1 song.
    • Visual Art 
    • Vocal Music: Enter this discipline if you plan to sing two songs


Application Fee is $20 and must be paid in order to submit application.

Email is the primary means of communication for the Overture Awards. Please be sure the email information is correct and current.

Young Arts Finalists
The overture Awards and Young Arts have an agreement where Overture Awards finalists automatically advance in Young Arts. The Overture Awards has extended that agreement to eligible Overture Awards competitors who advance to the finals in Young Arts. Since the Young Arts Finals conflicts with the Overture Awards Regional Competition, Overture Awards competitors who advance to Young Arts Finals will automatically advance to the Overture Awards Semi-Finals competition. Competitors must meet all other requirements including completing an application, and must notify the Overture Awards about advancing to Young Arts Finals.