What is Las Casas Foundation’s Performing Arts Scholarship Program?
Now in its 12th year, Las Casas Foundation’s Performing Arts Scholarship Program offers countless educational opportunities and awards more than $100,000 in scholarships to performing arts students from San Antonio and the surrounding area annually.
What is the Joci Awards?
The scholarship program culminates in the Joci (pronounced JAW-SEE) Awards, a one-night showcase of 25 performing arts students from San Antonio and the surrounding area. Since the program’s inception in 2009, Las Casas has awarded over $1 million to deserving students who excel in the performing arts, making it the largest scholarship funding source of its kind in the United States.
Who is Joci?
Jocelyn ‘Joci’ Straus, the moving force behind the restoration of the Majestic and Charline McCombs Empire Theatres, founded Las Casas and spearheaded the effort to raise more than $10 million for the restoration of both theatres. After founding Las Casas in 1988, Straus led fundraising and restoration efforts that allowed the Majestic renovation to be completed in just 11 months. She then worked to raise the funds necessary to restore the Empire Theatre, which reopened in 1998 after being dark for 25 years.
How much money will you award?
Las Casas Foundation will award at least $105,000 in scholarships in 2020.
I don’t think I have a good chance of becoming a finalist. Should I even bother applying?
Yes! Las Casas has made several refinements to the scholarship program so that any student who is interested in the performing arts can benefit greatly from the experience along the way. By applying, students have access to free musical theatre master classes, which assist students in repertoire selection and performance techniques. We are proud to be able to offer these opportunities so that every student gains something special from the process.
Can I apply in more than one category?
No. Applicants may only apply in one (1) category. We recommend selecting the category in which you feel strongest in competing.
How many finalists are selected to compete in the Joci Awards?
25 finalists are selected to compete in the Joci Awards.
If there are five categories and 25 total finalists selected, are five finalists selected from each category?
Not necessarily. The number of finalists selected from each category varies each year based on highest scores and where natural breaks in scoring occur. The number of total applicants in each category may also be taken into consideration.
Do I have to be a senior to apply?
No. All five categories (Vocal, Acting, Dance, Best Lead Actor in a Musical and Best Lead Actress in a Musical) of Las Casas Foundation’s Performing Arts Scholarship Program are open to students in grades 9-12. Please note that Best Lead Actress and Best Lead Actor applicants must be playing a Qualifying Role in their high school musical during the 2019-2020 school year and must have their high school production adjudicated. If you’re unsure if your high school production is scheduled to be adjudicated, please contact us.
Do I have to be majoring in theatre, music, etc. in college to apply?
Absolutely not. Las Casas believes in the importance of the arts no matter which career path scholarship recipients ultimately pursue. Past winners have gone on to study business, communications, pharmacy, and more!
If I’m selected as a finalist, am I guaranteed a scholarship?
Yes; each finalist will be presented with a monetary award on the evening of the Joci Awards.
Do I have to be attending college in Texas to win a scholarship?
Can my scholarship be applied to tuition/fees at a community college?
Who is the scholarship check made out to?
Scholarships are made out to the college or university of your choice and under no circumstances to the individual applicant.
When are funds dispersed?
Generally late July to early August.
BEST LEAD ACTRESS AND BEST LEAD ACTOR
How do I apply to compete in the Best Lead Actor/Actress categories?
In addition to playing a qualifying role in an approved high school musical, students interested in applying in the Best Lead Actor and Best Lead Actress categories must have their high school production adjudicated. Students must then fill out an individual application before the deadline. If you’re unsure if your high school production has been or is scheduled to be adjudicated, please contact us.
I played or am playing a qualifying lead role in my high school musical, and my production has been or is scheduled to be adjudicated. What now?
Be sure to submit your completed application before the deadline. All students who successfully submit their application before the deadline are invited to two free workshops (dates, times, and locations TBA) and preliminary auditions. Preliminary auditions for applicants in the Best Lead Actor/Actress categories will be held at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre; date TBA. If you’re unsure if your high school production is scheduled to be adjudicated, please contact us.
Do I qualify to compete in the Best Lead Actress/Actor categories if I played the lead in a home school, regional, or community theatre production?
In order to compete in the Best Lead Actress/Actor categories, a student must have played a lead role in their high school musical during the 2019-2020 school year. These rules are set forth by the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA)/The Jimmy Awards and unfortunately, do not include home school, regional, or community theatre productions.
What if my role or musical isn’t listed on NHSMTA’s list of Qualifying Musicals/Roles?
Why are eligibility requirements different for the Best Lead Actress/Actor categories?
Although the Best Lead Actress/Actor categories are a part of the Joci Awards, they are also associated with the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA) or The Jimmy Awards. As a Regional Awards Program, Las Casas Foundation and the Joci Awards must comply with the rules set forth by NHSMTA for these two categories.
How does Las Casas determine who advances to the Jimmy Awards?
Adjudication, preliminary audition, and Joci Awards scores are all factored into an overall score. The two finalists with the highest overall score in the Best Lead Actor and Best Lead Actress categories will advance to the Jimmy Awards in New York City. Note: Winning the category the evening of the Joci Awards does not guarantee advancement to the Jimmy Awards.
Are finalists in the Best Lead Actress/Actor categories eligible for scholarship money and the overall award?
Joci Awards finalists in all five categories (Vocal, Acting, Dancing, Best Lead Actress and Best Lead Actor) are eligible for scholarship money and to be selected as the overall winner, which includes an additional prize of $10,000.