The Overture Awards

The Overture Awards is a program that recognizes 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.

If you have questions, contact us at (513) 977-4116 or [email protected]


2022 Overture Awards Competition

The 2022 Overture Awards Competition will continue as an online submission and review competition for the Regional and Semi-Final Stages.

The Final Competition & Awards Ceremony will take place live and in-person at the Aronoff Center on Saturday, March 12, 2022.

  • We will begin accepting applications and submissions on Monday, September 20, 2021. 
  • Submission Deadline: Tuesday, December 14, 2021 at 11:59 PM

Check back for updates on the competition. A link to the application and submissions portal will be available September 20.

Who may apply to the Overture Awards?

All students in grades 9-12 who study in the Greater Cincinnati region are eligible.

Click here to learn more about who may apply to the Overture Awards.

Is there a fee to apply?

The application fee is $20 and must be paid in order to submit application.

Do students need to be nominated to apply to the Overture Awards?

Yes, students must be nominated by a coordinator to apply. New coordinators can register here. A teacher, counselor, administrator, or private studio teacher can serve as a coordinator.

A nomimated student will receive a code from their coordinator that will need to be recorded on their application. Coordinators will be sent this code before September 20.

How do I register to be an Overture Awards coordinator?

Click here to register to be a coordinator, or to update your infomation. 

What is the application criteria for each discipline?

When are students notified on if they advance to the next stage in the competition?

Semi-finalists notified: Friday, January 21 by 5:00 PM

Finalists notified: Thursday, February 24 by 5:00 PM

What will the winners and the finalists of the Overture Awards receive?

For the 2022 competition, students may win $3,000 (one awarded in each discipline) or a $1,000 finalist award (a total of 18 awarded).

2022 Arts Educator Award

The Arts Educator Award promotes and rewards excellence in arts instruction throughout Greater Cincinnati. Students nominate an educator through video submission that describes the impact the educator has had on his/her students. The winner will be announced at the Overture Awards Final Competition & Awards Ceremony on Saturday, March 12, 2022. The winner of the 2022 award will receive $1,000, and two finalists will receive $500.

Past Overture Awards Winners and Finalists