PeabodyHacks: Access & Performance is happening January 31-February 1, 2020 at the Arthur Friedheim Library.

Students from campuses across the city of Baltimore with a passion for music, performing arts, and technology will join creative forces for a 24-hour sprint to create new instruments or teaching tools for novices and expert performers alike. All students enrolled in a degree program at a College or University with a campus in Baltimore City are eligible to participate.

Teams will create a project to be judged by a panel of experts – the winning team will be awarded a $2,000 cash prize!

Our theme this year is Access. Projects should solve a problem of access for performing artists, audience members or students of the performing arts.

We encourage participants to think critically about access in technology and the arts. Projects might engage access in the following ways:

  • physical & geographical
  • intellectual “exclusivity” in the arts
  • institutions
  • barriers related to privilege in artistic circles
  • under-representation of diverse creators
  • educational opportunities for students and patrons of the arts
  • other topics that limit engagement with arts…

Ready to register or find teammates? Registration is limited to 50 participants, so Sign up today!

Don’t have a team but still want to hack? You can find a team at the beginning of the event or hack solo.

Catch up on all the info from last year’s Hackathon here! We will hold a mixer and informational session Monday, January 27, 2020. 

Hackathon Sponsors


$6,500 in prizes

First prize: Hacking category

Prizes may be split between entries at the judges discretion.

Second prize: Hacking category

Prizes may be split between entries at the judges discretion.

Third prize: Hacking category (2)

Prizes may be split between entries at the judges discretion.

Innovative Instrument Category

Prizes may be split between entries at the judges discretion.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Who is eligible participate?

Any student currently enrolled in a degree program at a school with a campus in Baltimore City. Students must bring their current student ID to check into the event.


What are the rules for submission?

Sumissions for final projects

Final submissions do not need to be fully functioning apps. You may submit a clickable prototype or video of an app on a simulator. If you are submitting an instrument, you must submit a video of your fully functioning instrument. All final projects must be submitted to DevPost. You may register for DevPost at any time between now and 4pm, Friday, January 31.

Additional submission requirements

In addition to your project, please complete the supplementary questions summarizing your project and describing how it meets the judging criteria.


Video links to YouTube, Vimeo or Youku can be submitted. Videos are not required except for instrument submissions. All videos should be no longer than 3 minutes.

File Upload

Contestants should upload any completed projects files combined into one Zip file.

Information about your Project

Submissions should include a project name, the names of all team members and their contact information, operating systems or devices that can run the app, and any APIs, SDKs, data sets, images, sounds, videos, or code libraries used in developing your project. Proper attributiong for all existing APIs, SDKs, data sets, images, sounds, videos, or code libraries used is required. 

Topic / Categories

Your project should address some aspect of access to the performing arts. We encourage participants to consider institutional barriers to access in addition to geographic, physical, and financial barriers to access.

Using existing work

Projects may build apps on existing hardware or extend existing apps. Extensions to existing apps should be substantial and all submissions should clearly denote all new work and how it builds on the existing app.

App Store

Apps do not need to be available in the app store; however, any apps that are available should be linked for judges to review. In lieu of an approved app in the app store, video simulations and click-through protoypes are acceptable submissions.


Abra Bush

Abra Bush
Associate Dean of Institute Studies, the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University

Kerry Ingram

Kerry Ingram
Marketing & Operations Coordinator FastForward U, Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures

McGregor Boyle

McGregor Boyle
Associate Professor of Computer Music, the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University

Suzanne Kite

Suzanne Kite
Performance Artist, Visual Artist, and Composer

Judging Criteria

  • Addresses Event Theme
    Does this submission describe how the project meets the event theme of accessibility?
  • Achieves Project Goal
    Does this app or instrument achieve the goals described by the participant to address the theme and the problem it solves?
  • Novelty: Project
    Is this project or instrument addressing a novel idea that has been overlooked?
  • Novelty: Approach
    Does this project or instrument bring a novel perspective to a problem or instrument that has not been previously identified?
  • Functionality
    Does the project or instrument achieve its functionality goals? If not, does the participant describe future development needed to achieve that goal?
  • Design
    How well does this project or instrument invite users to engage with it by its design?
  • Extensibility
    How can others build on or extend the idea behind this project or instrument? Will others be able to recreate this project based on plans or extend it for additional applications?

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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