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Creative 40 Acres

Regents' Outstanding Arts & Humanities Award
Recognition of the Musical Arts

All forms of artistic expression, from visual to performing, provide a context for exchange across cultures. Recognizing the role that higher education institutions have in supporting cultural conservation, fostering intercultural dialogue, and promoting innovative artistic expression, The University of Texas System institutions strive to enrich their communities through the sponsorship of various arts and art education programs. The arts enrich the experience of students through curricular and co-curricular activities. Campus involvement in the arts also impacts the economic development of surrounding communities by helping to develop aspirations for higher learning and providing venues for artistic presentations.

To recognize student achievement in the arts and humanities, The University of Texas System Board of Regents has developed awards for outstanding students and student groups that excel in four areas: the musical arts, the visual arts, poetry writing and short essays. The specific Area for recognition will vary each year. For 2017-2018, the UT System Board of Regents will recognize musical arts. There will be awards made in two categories: (1) solo / duet performance, (2) group performance. One winner will be named in each category. The top 3 students in each category will advance to the Regents' competition. For the overall UT System winner, a monetary award ($1,500 for solo / duet and $2,500 for group) will be made in the winners name(s) to the department of their choice.


January 25, 2018 Entries are due to via online application by 11:59 p.m. for Preliminary Review. Nominations will be reviewed by an independent panel.
January 31, 2018 Entries advancing to the UT System will be notified. Up to 6 entries (no more than 3 in solo / duet, no more than 3 in group performance) will be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs
April 2018 Award recipients are announced
May 2018 Award recipients are invited to attend a Board of Regents meeting


The awards are open to full-time undergraduate students studying at a UT institution. For group performance submissions, 75% of the group members must be enrolled full time in 12 semester credit hours or more.

General Criteria

  • Demonstrated commitment to the arts through participation in university and community activities
  • Creativity, originality, imagery, artistic quality, and mastery of expression are apparent in the work submitted
  • Sustained high academic performance defined as a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • No pending violations of institutional policies

Submission Guidelines

  • A video recording of the solo/duet performance or group performance
    • No more than two works will be considered. The maximum combined length of the performance(s) should not exceed 10 minutes
    • All works requiring accompaniment must be performed with a live accompaniment, as the piece requires
    • Performance must be from within the school year that the performance is submitted (Academic year 2017-2018)
  • A separate, short video essay in which the individual, or a representative appointed by the group responds to the following prompt: Explain your (or your group's) involvement in your university and community vis-à-vis the arts and humanities and what you hope to achieve in the area in the future
    • Length
      • For solo/duet performances: No more than 3 minutes
      • For group performances: No more than 4 minutes
  • Videos will need to be hosted and accessible on the internet before the Creative 40 Acres application form is filled out. Applicants enter the urls of the videos on the application form.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Tone
  • Technique
  • Rhythm
  • Intonation
  • Interpretation
  • Overall Quality of Performance
  • Diction (for vocalists)

Nomination Materials

A single application form will be submitted for either solo/duet or group performance.

  • The application form (linked below) which in agreement
    • Allows UT system to publically share your work
    • Allows UT staff to verify your grades
  • A video recording of the solo/duet performance or group performance. Please refer to submission guidelines for details.
  • A separate, short video essay. Please refer to submission guidelines for details.
  • If selected to move on to the Regents level, ALL participants will be required to submit a Copyright Release form (due by February 2, 2018). The form will be provided upon selection.

Final Selection Process

The Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) will administer the program on behalf of the UT System Board of Regents. The awards will be determined by a selection committee appointed by the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. OAA staff will review all recommendations and will forward those candidates meeting the specified criteria to the selection committee for consideration. The selection committee will be comprised of experts in the musical arts, recruited from outside the UT System.


  • Recognized as a winner of the 2018 Regents’ Outstanding Arts and Humanities Award in Musical Arts.
  • A $1,500 monetary award for solo / duet performance and a $2,500 award for group performance in the winner’s name to the department listed on the application. The designated program or department which receives the monetary prize may award the money to the student winner or other student projects, or use the proceeds at the department’s discretion.
  • Award winners may be asked to display their work at a Board of Regents’ meeting, dinner or other gatherings during the year.
  • Award winners may have the opportunity to publicly showcase work.


If you have questions please contact Jennifer Zamora.

All materials submitted for consideration will become the property of the University of Texas System, and will not be returned.

The finalists may be required to sign permission documents to allow UT System to publish work on a limited basis.

An applicant can only win in one category


Apply for the Creative 40 Acres 2018 Regents’ Outstanding Arts and Humanities Award in Musical Arts.