Otero Arts Festival
Sponsored by Otero for 67 years!
Sixty-seven years ago, the Otero Arts Festival started as an art contest for middle and secondary school students to showcase their artistic talents. The Otero Arts Festival is one of the longest-running events for public school students in Southeast Colorado and is sponsored by Otero College. Over the past several years, the writing, art, music, and theatrical contests have drawn over 2,000 entries annually.
“The Otero Arts Festival has been an important artistic and cultural event for our area. It showcases the amazing talent our young students have and we felt that we had to find a way to continue this tradition of recognizing talent, as well as awarding some outstanding scholarships to award winners,” explained Phillips.
67th Otero Arts Festival Exhibit Open to Public April 4th through April 6th
Viewing times are 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
OTERO ARTS FESTIVAL 2023 SCHEDULE of EVENTS
2023 Otero Arts Festival Winners
- 67th OAF Creative Writing Winners
- 67th OAF Visual Art Winners
- 67th OAF Music & Theatrical Contest Winners
Online Registration for Otero Arts Festival is Now Closed
Otero Arts Festival Guidelines
All area students, grades 7-12, are also encouraged to enter the Otero Arts Festival Visual Arts Competition. Entries for the art contest will be accepted on Friday March 31st from 1-5 pm at the Student Center Rizzuto Banquet Room on the Otero College campus. Students may have one entry for each medium/technique with a maximum of six entries total per student. Entries must be labeled and hung per the guidelines. Refer to the entry documents listed below for details.
Seniors wishing to compete in the Senior Portfolio competition are encouraged to complete the online registration to exhibit, as there is limited space available for portfolios. Deadline is Friday March 10th.
Area students in grades 7-12 can enter the Creative Writing division of the Otero Arts Festival. Entries are accepted for the Creative Writing division through Friday, March 3. All poems, short stories, essays and creative books that are entered will be displayed in the Reading Room at the Student Center Rizzuto Banquet Room during the public viewing dates, April 4-6, 2023.
First, second and third place ribbons will be awarded in each of the three writing categories for grades 7 -12. A ribbon and award will be given for Best Representative Writing in middle school and in high school.
- Creative Writing Contest Rules and Format Pages (2023)
- Creative Writing Entry Forms (Middle School and High School–2023)
- Creative Writing Book Format and Rules (2023)
The Creative Writing contest continues to feature a winning high school senior portfolio. High School seniors are encouraged to enter a poem, short story and essay in the Senior Portfolio creative writing competition. The winner of the Senior Portfolio creative writing division will be awarded a scholarship to Otero College .
Entries are currently being accepted by mail at Otero Arts Festival Creative Writing, Macdonald Hall Room 110, 1802 Colorado Avenue, La Junta, CO 81050 or by bringing entries to Macdonald Hall Room 110 by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 3rd.
Instrumental and Vocal Music Contests
The 67th Otero Arts Festival will again include a music contest to be held on Friday, April 7 at 9am in Ed Stafford Theatre. Music was part of the original festivals until the 1970s. This will be our fourth year to bring back music. The purpose of the competition is to provide an opportunity for young musicians to demonstrate their musical talent and love for music. Ribbons will be awarded at each level of the competition with an Otero Scholarship being awarded to the top senior (grade 12 graduating high school senior) competing in the Senior Division of all music entries instrument and vocal combined.
Students can prepare an instrumental solo piece and/or a piece for small ensemble (3 -5 members) or select a vocal piece to be performed. Each member of the Instrumental Small Ensemble MUST register separately with the same Title of Selection.
Online registration will be available beginning March 1.
Note: Students may register through their school or independently, you do not have to be a current band, choir or music student to enter.
The Theatrical competition will be held on Friday, April 7 from 1pm to 4pm in the Ed Stafford Theatre, Otero Humanities Center. The purpose of the competition is to provide an opportunity for young thespians to demonstrate his/her acting talent and love for theater. Ribbons will be awarded at level of the competition with an Otero Scholarship being awarded to the top senior actor (grade 12 graduating high school senior).
- Monologues - Works performed by one person only. No other actors will be permitted on stage, even if they are silent in the performance. Monologues will be limited to a maximum of 5 minutes.
- Group Short Scenes - Selections can be from any genre. Group teams must have at least 2 and no more than 6 performers, and a maximum of 9 minutes in duration. Each member of a Group Short Scene MUST register separately with the same Title of Selection.
Note: Students may register through their school or independently, you do not have to be a current drama student to enter.
The 65th annual Otero Arts Festival
2022 Otero Arts Festival Winners