Our First Amendment Freedoms Art & Essay Contest

Organization & Scholarship Overview:
For more than 200 years, the First Amendment has been the cornerstone of freedom in the United States. Commonly referred to as the “five freedoms,” the First Amendment has helped people in the U.S. exercise their rights to work for a more free and just society and impacts every aspect of our lives. Now in its 14th year, the ADL Our First Amendment Freedoms Art & Essay Contest offers students the opportunity to think about how the First Amendment affects their daily lives and provides educators with the resources they need to facilitate that discussion. ADL Midwest invites 6th – 12th grade students in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota to participate in the 2021 Our First Amendment Freedoms Art & Essay Contest! First Place winners in each grade category will receive a $5,000 scholarship. Second Place winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Plus, the teacher with the most entries will receive $1,000!

Webiste: Our First Amendment Freedoms Art & Essay Contest
Online Application: Access Here

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applicants must be in grades 6th – 12th
  • Submit a two-page essay or create a work of art that best addresses the following prompt:
    Using a personal example or experience, describe or portray how one of the five freedoms in the First Amendment personally affects your daily life.
  • Employees of ADL, Chicago Tribune, and WGN, their board of directors and their immediate family members are not eligible for this contest

Essay Category Guidelines:

  1. Entrants must submit an original and unpublished essay. The essay must be solely the work of the entrant.
  2. Other forms of creative written expression, including poems and short stories that are within the guidelines, will also be accepted.
  3. The essay must be typed in 12-point font and double-spaced on 8.5” x 11” paper.
  4. The essay must be written in the English language.
  5. The essay must not exceed 2 pages.
  6. The entrant’s name, school, or city should not appear anywhere on the essay pages.

Art Category Guidelines:

  1. Entrants must submit an original, unpublished work of art.
  2. Illustration and photograph submissions should not exceed 18” x 24”.
  3. Entrants must submit along with their artwork a one-paragraph (250 words) explanation of what their artwork represents.
  4. The entrant’s name, school, or city should NOT appear anywhere in the paragraph.
  5. Art submissions may be in one or more of the following media: painting (choice of watercolor, acrylic, ink, oil, and other), drawing, collage, print (including silk-screens, lithographs, etc), and photography.
  6. Include an explanation of the mediums utilized in the piece (e.g. charcoal, watercolor, film, etc).
  7. It is recommended that illustrations and photographs be mounted on poster board.

Renewable: No
Open to DREAMers: Yes
Questions? Call 312.533.3939 or email midwest@adl.org

$1,000 - $5,000