The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver is awarding over $10,000 in college scholarships to the next generation of creative, innovative, and fearless graduating high school seniors who demonstrate a willingness to risk failure in the pursuit of something new. The Failure Awards scholarship reward Colorado students who embrace the spirit of creative risk-taking with scholarship monies that can be used at any accredited four-year institution towards educational expenses. While so much of student life is focused on achievement, MCA Denver believes that in order to create something original and authentic, it is necessary to risk failure. The Failure Awards are given not on the basis of academic merit or athletic prowess, but rather on a student’s demonstration of a willingness to take these risks.
The Failure Awards are based on documentation of a project the student created or produced that demonstrates originality and creativity. This can be a creative project, like a novel, a play, an opera; a technology-based project like a design for a new car, or a spaceship, or a robot; or something that falls outside of these criteria altogether. Some projects may present solutions to problems in the world, however, all projects will be considered, no matter how harebrained, impractical, or absurd.
Of all the submitted projects, six finalists will be invited to present their projects during the Failure Fair on April 28-29, 2017 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Each finalist will be given time to present their projects to a panel of judges. Winner of the top prize will be announced during the Fair. All five remaining finalists will receive a $500 one-time scholarship award.
The Top Prize will be distributed over four years, provided that the recipient maintains full-time (minimum 12 credit hours per semester) enrollment in an accredited four-year college or university, has a 2.5 or higher cumulative grade point average, and maintains Satisfactory Academic Progress as defined by their institution.
WHAT DOES FAILURE MEAN TO US?
We are looking for projects that demonstrate a higher level of creativity in the attempt to create something that is genuinely new. MCA Denver recognizes that artists put forth something new in the world without knowing if what they created will be embraced or ridiculed; in short, risking failure. MCA Denver created the Failure Awards scholarship to encourage this artistic spirit among young people. We encourage submissions of projects that demonstrate the courage to go against the grain of the everyday–to risk being ridiculous, impossible, fantastical, or merely impractical. We are looking for students who have found the freedom to create something new in the world, and for projects that contain originality and authenticity.
- Student must be a Colorado resident and high school senior
- Student must be graduating from a public, private, parochial, charter, or online high school in Colorado
- Student must plan to attend an accredited four-year college or university
- Student must demonstrate creative thinking, innovation, and a willingness to risk failure
- Student must submit a creative project, which, if selected as a finalist, they will present to a panel of judges and the visiting public during the annual Failure Fair on Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29, 2017
- All types of projects will be considered, including, but not limited to: visual arts, drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, dance, theatre, performing arts, instrument or voice composition, design, fashion, culinary arts, technology, gaming, robotics, business ventures, social need, or other creative practice
Eligible students are invited to submit proposals to MCA Denver between January 3 and February 21, 2017. Finalists will be announced on Friday, March 10, 2017. Six students will be selected to present their projects at the Failure Fair on Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29, 2017. To be eligible to receive the scholarship, students must be available both days to present their project in person.
Application live: January 3, 2017
Submission deadline: February 21, 2017
Finalists announced: March 10, 2017
Failure Fair: April 28 & 29, 2017
HOW ARE APPLICATIONS REVIEWED?
Participants will be evaluated on creativity, innovation, and their ability to work within the theme of risking failure as an integral part of the creative process. Students must meet all eligibility criteria.
STUDENTS WILL SUBMIT
- Title and brief description of their project. Projects can include drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, dance, theatre, fashion, technology, games, original instrumental or voice composition, design, or other creative practice.
- Photos and/or YouTube videos/links to illustrate the project.
- 500 word essay describing how the project demonstrates creativity or risks failure in the attempt to create something new.
- Up to 300 word description of how they plan to present the project at the Failure Fair, including how they will use their five minutes of time.
- Letter of recommendation from a teacher or coach.
- List of colleges applied to.
MCA Denver’s 2017 Failure Fair is made possible by our Presenting Partner in Innovation, Liberty Global, and our Pioneer Partner, Quarterly Forum. Scholarship awards made possible by Quarterly Forum.