Applications for the 2020 Rising Star Performing Arts Competition are now available Applications may also be requested from the Arts Council by phone at 410-313-2787 or via email at [email protected]. The early no-fee application deadline is October 1, 2019. Applications submitted between October 2 and the final deadline of November 1 must be accompanied by a $10 application fee.

The Rising Star Performing Arts Competition is open to performers, both individuals and ensembles (with a maximum of four members), ages 18-35, who live, train, work, or perform in Howard County or have done so in the past. Review criteria include artistic expression, technical ability, and stage presence. Up to ten selected finalists will receive a $300 honorarium to perform at the Arts Council’s annual benefit gala, the Celebration of the Arts in Howard County, on the evening of March 28, 2020 at Howard Community College’s Peter and Elizabeth Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center in Columbia, MD. The event audience of over 500 artists, arts patrons, business and political representatives, and other community members will then vote for their favorite performer. The winner of the popular vote will receive the $5,000 Rising Star Performing Arts Award on stage that night.

The Howard County Arts Council is a private, non-profit organization that serves Howard County by fostering the arts, artists, and arts organizations. The Rising Star Performing Arts Award was established by the Arts Council in 2003 to provide opportunities for emerging performing artists with roots in Howard County and to assist them in the development and practice of their art. The goals of the Rising Star award are: to encourage professional development in all performing arts disciplines, to recognize individual achievement in the performing arts, to support performing artists with strong ties to Howard County, and to provide a venue for artists through a performance of award finalists.

For more information and eligibility requirements, call 410-313-ARTS (2787) or visit