We at the Missouri Fine Arts Academy (MFAA) are delighted to announce that applications for the Class of 2020 are now open. MFAA is scheduled for June 7-20, 2020.
Entering our 25th year, we celebrate this major milestone and have an opportunity to reflect upon how and why MFAA matters today more than ever. In the last two and a half decades, MFAA has had an incredible impact on those who went through, taught or mentored in the program: some students found new direction as artists or discovered a new trajectory for their career; others were transformed by the connection they made with others that established a creative network for them throughout the state and country; and then there were those that were permanently changed through their collaboration with amazing folks and the passion they found in creative ideas allowing them to better understand who they are in the world while further developing their unique artistic voices. As educators and creative professionals, we are honored and excited to bring students an opportunity to engage in an interdisciplinary, residential arts experience every year and look forward to watching them grow and flourish through the unique experiences the various courses, exciting events, and amazing faculty, staff, and guest speakers provide.
MFAA students are highly motivated creators and artists in the visual arts, theatre, dance, creative writing and music. In addition to a once-in-a-lifetime experience, the MFAA also offers a pre-collegiate introduction to residential living on a college campus and three hours of college credit for any student who completes the program. Additionally, this year we are introducing new classes in film and screenwriting that will be fundamental in establishing a new concentration of the academy that will be fully integrated in 2021, but the class of 2020 will be have the option to take these courses before anyone else.
The Missouri Fine Arts Academy was the brainchild of the late Dr. David Belcher, former dean of the College of Arts and Letters, and Dr. Amy Muchnick, a music professor. These two wished to find a way to empower students in the arts throughout the state and open up possibilities for those who would become future leaders, innovators, and creatives while establishing a site to foster the potential of the arts and the arts community in Missouri. Belcher and Muchnick realized that the best way to accomplish this goal was by connecting with and impacting the fledgling members of this community, high school students. And in 1995, much as predicted by a providential voice to Kevin Costner in “Field of Dreams,”
“If you build it, they will come.” And they did.
MFAA provides students with an opportunity for expansion, evolution and development. These students hail from all over the state, including communities with limited ability to offer arts education. MFAA cultivates the innate talents, creativity and ability of these students to allow them to begin their path to grow into beacons within their local communities, cities or across the state. Over the past 25 years, thousands have gone through MFAA and gone on to impact the world through the arts. Often students who have recently completed the program act as seeds for the arts, planting and sowing new creative ideas in the minds of their peers; others serve as tiny blossoms with their ideas blossoming across the state, country, and world; while some go through the program and then continue their journey by working professionally in their chosen fields for years to follow as they themselves become giant oak trees, providing a sprawling umbrella for light, shade and environment for others to develop and grow. Each and every one of these individuals leave our program and then continue to build and create communities of, by and for the arts.
We also have to take a moment to acknowledge the continued support and cooperation of Missouri State University, and all the people and programs that have provided assets and funding through fees, grants, endowments, scholarships, and private donations, as well as our legislators, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for their continued support.
Thank you all. We look forward to furthering the amazing connections, creations, and impact this year’s class will have on the future of the arts and are anxiously awaiting meeting the Missouri Fine Arts Academy, Class of 2020.
“We hope everyone is as excited as us to be a part of the change that will continue to cultivate one of the best arts communities across the state,” Dr. Christopher Collins, director of the Missouri Fine Arts Academy.
If you are interested, or know someone who might be interested in this extraordinary community, we welcome you to apply to the Missouri Fine Arts Academy. Students will need to provide a portfolio or a recorded video of their performance work, a one page statement about why they would like to attend, and how they foresee the Academy will impact their future as artists, as well as a recommendation from a teacher or mentor evaluating their abilities and collegiality. These portfolios will be adjudicated by a panel of professionals in their respective fields and student selection will be announced in March of 2020. In order to assist with costs and provide access to the largest number of students, the Academy has reduced its overall cost to a flat fee of $500.
To apply as a student, faculty member or resident assistant, apply online at www.missouristate.edu/mfaa/apply.htm.