It’s time to get your creative juices flowing and submit an essay or visual art piece as part of the annual Juneteenth celebration. ​

Juneteenth, or the African American Emancipation Day, is a celebration commemorating the 1865 end of slavery in the United States.  The contest, titled “Civil Rights Movement: Past and Present” is intended to reflect on the progress and the ongoing struggle for equal rights, and is being organized by The Johnson County Juneteenth Committee and the Iowa City Human Rights Commission.

Entries for the art contest will be displayed at the festival, and the winning essay will be read by a representative of the Johnson County Juneteenth Committee. Both contests are limited to kids living in Johnson County.

Essay Contest

The essay contest is open to students age 14 to 18 years old. Essays must be at least 500 words, but no longer than 700 words. Each written entry should include a title and be typed in Times New Roman or Arial font, size 12 to 14-point, and be double-spaced. Students should not use maps, drawings, photos, or graphics as part of the essay. Submissions will be judged on originality, as well as the correct use of grammar, spelling, and punctuation. First prize for the essay contest is $75.

Visual Art Contest

The visual art contest is open to youth aged 5 to 18 years old. Only two-dimensional art will be accepted, in the form of photographs, paintings, collages, or sketches. The art contest will be divided into three age groups: 5-11, 12-13, and 14-18 years old. A winner will be named for each age group, and each winner will receive a $75 prize.

Contest Submissions

Entries should be dropped off or mailed to: Iowa City Human Rights Commission, City Hall, 410 E. Washington Street, Iowa City, IA 52240. Submissions must be received by June 2, and each entry must include the full name, address, email address (if available), phone number and age of the participant.

Winners will be notified in writing or by phone. Awards will be presented at the Juneteenth Festival, scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 24 at Mercer Park, 2701 Bradford Dr., Iowa City.

All entries become the property of the Johnson County Juneteenth Committee. For more information, call 319-356-5022. 


Date of publication

Wednesday, May 17, 2017