The SOPAA Fine & Performing Arts Scholarship was established in 2021 by the Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association to honor their mission to “enhance, educate and entertain.” SOPAA began in the early 1900’s by a group of volunteers as Civic Music and evolved into the Southern Ohio Community Concert Series in the 1950’s and eventually into a non-profit performing arts association in the 1990’s.

The volunteer board partnered with Shawnee State University beginning in 1996 and continued their tradition of bringing affordable entertainment to the tri-state. This scholarship continues their legacy by supporting full-time students pursuing a Shawnee State University degree in Fine or Performing Arts.

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Scholarship Award Criteria 2023-24

The following criteria are established to determine eligibility and process for the scholarship award:

Eligibility to Apply

An applicant must:

  1. Be an incoming, rising or current full-time student at Shawnee State University;
  2. Be pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts; and
  3. Be in good academic standing with a GPA of 2.5 or above.

How to Apply & Selection of the Recipient

  1. All eligible admitted students will be considered;
  2. Application will be reviewed by a selection committee consisting of the Fine Arts Department Chair and his/her designated faculty and/or staff, and one non-voting member of the Foundation staff;
  3. Applicant will submit
    1. a resume
    2. a minimum 1-page (maximum 3-page) statement describing Fine Arts experience, accomplishments and post-graduation goals
    3. a portfolio (Visual Arts — a minimum of 5 works, maximum of 8) or audition video (Performing Arts — featuring solos, dance, and/or theater performances)
  4. For preference or full consideration, the deadline for application materials is March 10, 2023, although materials submitted by April 30 may be considered at the discretion of the selection committee.

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Terms of the Award

Scholarships will be awarded at the discretion of the selection committee with Foundation and Financial Aid approval. Total amount available: $1,000 (may be divided into two $500 awards)

Recipient of the award must:

  1. Be an incoming, rising or current full-time student at Shawnee State University;
  2. Remain in good academic standing and maintain a 2.5 GPA or better;
  3. Receive the award in increments of 1/2 to cover two academic semesters per year; and
  4. Recipient may reapply to receive the award for a maximum of four (4) years. The recipient must reapply to be reconsidered. Reapplying does not qualify for an automatic renewal.


Questions regarding the scholarship may be directed to the chair of the Fine, Digital, and Performing Arts department, Michael Barnhart,