Press Release
Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge Poster


Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge – Program Solicitation




Proposal Receipt Deadline: July 28, 2022


The purpose of this Program Solicitation is to select an organization (“Cooperator”) to coordinate and administer the 2023 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for High School Students in conjunction with the NEA.

The NEA’s Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for High School Students provides an opportunity for high school students to create the lyrics and music for an original musical theater song of their own, and participate in mentorship activities with professionals in the field. From 2017-2021, the Songwriting Challenge was administered by The American Theatre Wing through a cooperative agreement, in partnership with Concord Theatricals, Disney on Broadway, iHeartRadio, and the National Music Publishers Association S.O.N.G.S. Foundation. Winners were provided with a coaching team consisting of a mentor and music director to hone the student’s original song into a Broadway-ready composition. Their songs were recorded by Broadway musicians and vocalists in New York City, distributed on streaming music platforms, and compiled into a songbook.

Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge Poster

Since the Songwriting Challenge began, the program has reached an increasingly diverse range of students. In order to achieve the NEA’s and partners’ goals of providing deeper engagement to a greater number of students from diverse backgrounds and historically underserved communities, the next phase of the program will include online feedback and workshops for all entrants. The program will provide opportunities for entrants to learn more about musical theater songwriting and sharpen their songwriting skills, as well as engage with professional musicians, singers, songwriters, and producers. Students whose songs are selected as the winning entries will have the opportunity to participate in intensive one-on-one songwriting mentorships to further develop their songs, as well as experience their original song performed by professional musicians and singers for an audience.

The NEA is seeking an organization to coordinate and administer the Songwriting Challenge. This organization will manage all aspects of the program, including the development and dissemination of online educational materials and information about the program to engage potential applicants and encourage them to apply, as well as coordination of the interactive learning sessions and competition, and production of a performance featuring the winning songs


Visit rts.gov for more information and to apply!