Each year, we choose up to 10 rising stars to compete for our $5,000 Rising Star Award. Emerging performing artists with roots in Howard County can apply to be among the finalists who will perform at our Celebration gala — with the winner voted on by the audience! The competition is open to performers, both individuals and ensembles (up to four members), ages 18-35, who live, train, work or perform regularly in Howard County or have done so in the past.

Following the finalists’ performances at the gala, the audience — including over 500 artists, arts patrons, community members and business and political leaders — casts their votes for the winner. Votes are tallied during the live event and the award winner is announced on stage! We may also give additional awards based on the amount of funding raised from the event.

Be part of the excitement!

The Howard County Arts Council established the Rising Star Award in 2003 to provide opportunities for emerging performing artists with roots in Howard County. Let us help shine a light on your talents. Submit your application to compete as one of our finalists!

We’re currently accepting applications for the 2020 Rising Star Performing Arts Competition.

Early-Bird Applications Due (no fee): October 1, 2019

Deadline for all applications ($10 fee if submitted after October 1): November 1, 2019 – online payments may be submitted below

NEW! Finalists will now receive a $500 honorarium to perform at the Celebration thanks to a generous donation from Eileen Clegg! (Rising Star winner not eligible.)