**UPDATE: The Deadline for this contest has been extended! All entries must be now be submitted via email to BlackHistoryandTheArts@gmail.com by Monday, February 26, 2024.**
Celebrating the Vibrant Canvas of Black Creativity!
Welcome to the Black History and the Arts Essay and Art Contest, a celebration of the profound impact Black artists, musicians, writers, and creators have had on our world. This February, Paterson Public Library and Word Seed Inc. invite students across Paterson to explore the theme of Black History and the Arts through both written and visual expression.
Categories and prompts:
- Art prompt: Imagine you’re creating a mural to honor a Black artist, musician, or writer you admire. Who would you choose, and how would your mural capture their essence and contributions?
- Essay prompt: Choose a song, painting, book, or film created by a Black artist that has spoken deeply to you. Why does this piece resonate with you, and how does it connect to your understanding of Black history and culture?
- Art prompt: Design a commemorative stamp celebrating a pivotal moment in Black artistic expression. What image or symbol would you choose, and how would it convey the significance of this moment?
- Essay prompt: Research the Harlem Renaissance or another significant artistic movement led by Black creators. How did this movement challenge societal norms and contribute to the fight for racial equality?
Grades 9 & 10:
- Art prompt: Create a mixed-media artwork that blends historical elements with contemporary themes relating to Black identity and artistic expression. What message do you want to convey through your piece?
- Essay prompt: Choose a Black artist who has broken barriers in their field. Analyze their work and discuss how they have paved the way for future generations of creators.
Grades 11 & 12:
- Art prompt: Develop a concept for a public art installation that honors the legacy of Black artistry in Paterson. Consider the city’s history, demographics, and the impact you want to create.
- Essay prompt: Explore the intersection of race, power, and art. How has Black art been used as a tool for activism and social change throughout history? What are the challenges and opportunities facing Black artists today?
- Art contest: Winners in each grade category will have their artwork showcased at the Paterson Public Library throughout March. First place winners will receive a $100 art supply gift card.
- Essay contest: Winners in each grade category will be chosen by Word Seed Inc. based on originality, creativity, and effective communication of the chosen prompt. First place winners will receive a $100 gift card and the opportunity to have their essay published in a local news outlet.
- Art entries: All artwork must be original and created by the student. Submit photos or digital scans of your artwork through the online submission form.
- Essay entries: Essays should be between 300-500 words for grades 3-5 and 500-800 words for grades 6-12. Submit essays in electronic format through the online submission form.
- Deadline Extended! All entries must be now be submitted via email to BlackHistoryandTheArts@gmail.com by Monday, February 26, 2024.
- Art contest: A panel of local artists and Paterson Public Library staff will select winners based on creativity, originality, and technical skill.
- Essay contest: Word Seed Inc. will select winners based on originality, clarity, and the effectiveness of the argument presented.
Join us for the awards ceremony:
Celebrate the creativity and talent of Paterson’s youth at the awards ceremony on February 29th, 2024, at the Paterson Public Library. Meet the winners, enjoy refreshments, and be inspired by the diverse expressions of Black history and the arts.
We encourage all students in Paterson to participate in this exciting contest and share their perspectives on the legacy of Black artists and creators.