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67th Otero Arts Festival Announces Categories and Dates

(the following is a news release from Otero College)

LA JUNTA — The 67th Otero Arts Festival is pleased to announce the 2023 contest categories and dates. The annual festival plans to host the public viewing of visual arts and creative writing from Tues., April 4 through Thurs., April 7 in the McDivitt Center Gym on the Otero College campus. Area students grade 7-12 will be able to compete in several categories: Visual Arts, Creative Writing, Music and Theatrical Contests. Ribbons will be awarded at each level of the competition with Otero Scholarships being awarded to the top senior (grade 12 graduating high school senior) competitor in each category.

The Otero Arts Festival showcases creative writing, the visual arts, musicians, and theatrical performances by middle and high school students from throughout southeast Colorado. The Otero Arts Festival invites area students, grades 7-12, to share what inspires them to make their imagination come to life in either their creative writings, visual arts, music or through the theatrical competition. All students are encouraged to enter. Students do not have to be currently participating in art, band, choir, or drama at their schools to enter. Students may enter all contests independently.

Debbie Phillips, coordinator of the Otero Arts Festival, anticipates about 30 area schools will have students participate in the 67th annual event. “Each year we see entries from many exceptionally talented students. They are supported in their work by teachers, parents and community members who are involved in helping them develop their talents,” said Phillips.

The 67th Otero Arts Festival Competitions this year, including deadlines are:

Creative Writing, submission deadline Friday, March 3, 2023. Students grades 7-12 can enter one writing in each category; Poetry, Essay and Short Story. Students 9-12 can enter the Creative Book contest. Creative Writing Senior Portfolios compete for the Writing Scholarship. All Creative Writing Entries MUST be submitted with a completed entry form this year which is available on the website. Entries are currently being accepted by mail at Otero Arts Festival Creative Writing, 1802 Colorado Avenue, La Junta, CO 81050 or by bringing entries to Macdonald Hall Room 110 by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 3. Complete creative writing guidelines and information is available at: https://www.otero.edu/OteroArtsFestival.aspx.

Visual Arts, entry submission and hanging Friday, March 31, 2023, in the McDivitt Center Gym, 1 – 5 p.m. Students’ grades 7-12 can enter up to 6 (six) artworks each in a variety of mediums. Visual Arts Senior Portfolios compete for scholarships, the online registration deadline Fri., March 10, 2023. All forms including the required entry forms are available on the website. All student artists are encouraged to enter. Students do not have to be currently participating in art at their schools.

Theatrical Competition, online registration deadline Mon., March 27, 2023, consisting of Monologue and Group Short Scenes categories. Contest to be held on Fri. April 7 at 1 p.m. in the Ed Stafford Theatre. All students interested in drama and theater are encouraged to enter. Students do not have to be currently participating in drama at their schools. Otero Scholarship will be awarded to the top senior actor (grade 12 graduating high school senior). Refer to the website for detailed contest rules and guidelines.

Music Competition both Instrumental and Vocal, online registration deadline Mon., March 27, 2023. Instrumental Solo and Small Ensembles (3 - 5 members) and Vocal Solo and Ensemble (3 - 5 members) categories. Contest to be held on Friday April 7 at 9am in the Ed Stafford Theatre. Refer to the website for detailed contest rules and guidelines. The 2023 Music Contest provides an opportunity for young musicians to demonstrate their musical talent and love for music. The Music Contest is open to Middle School students grades 7 & 8 (Junior Division) and High School students grades 9 - 12 (Senior Division). All students interested in music are encouraged to enter. Students do not have to be currently participating in band or choir at their schools. The contestant is responsible for an accompanist if needed and the arts festival will provide a piano.

Online registrations open March 1, 2023, for Visual Arts Senior Portfolios, Music Contests, and the Theatrical Competitions. Students need to complete a separate registration form for each of the categories that they are participating in.

The Otero Arts Festival is the longest running event for student’s grades 7 - 12 that is continuing to be sponsored by a college, Otero College. Complete guidelines and information about the competitions are available at https://www.otero.edu/OteroArtsFestival.aspx. The full list of the Schedule of Events for this year’s festival is available on the website.


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