Art & Prose of Freedom Contest Guidelines

Contest Overview

Theme:  Unity and Community

Students are encouraged to use their creativity and submit an original short essay, poem, or artwork that embodies the spirit of unity and community in honor of Juneteenth.

Entry Criteria: Open to any student in a Montgomery County public, private, parochial, or home school.

Art and Prose Categories

  • Poetry
  • Short Essay
  • Art

Prizes: One short essay, one poem, and one art submission will be selected for 1st prize from each grade level.  

  • Grade Level I: K - 5th Grades 
  • Grade Level II: 6th - 8th Grades 
  • Grade Level III:  9th - 12th Grades 

Winners will receive $100 gift cards. All participants will receive a certificate of participation. 1st place prizes will be awarded at the Juneteenth Flag Raising event on June 15, 2023. In addition, submissions may be shared at a Board of Commissioners Meeting, in County buildings, and in County publications and on County social media sites.

Submission: Student Entry Form must be completed and submitted along with contest entry. They can be submitted using the following methods:

E-mail: (Preferred Submission Method)


Art and Prose of Freedom Contest
Attention: Donna L. Richemond, Chief of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Commissioners Office
PO Box 311
Norristown, PA 19404-0311

In-Person: Commissioners Office, One Montgomery Plaza, Norristown, PA

Questions should be directed to or 610-278-1499.

Deadline for Submissions: May 24, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.

General Rules

  • Students may submit only one entry per category.
  • Entries received after May 24, 2023 will not be eligible.
  • Submissions must be in good taste and free of any images/language generally considered as offensive. Works with inappropriate or discriminatory language or symbols will be disqualified.
  • All submissions must have a title to be included on the entry form.
  • Qualifying submissions will be judged on the following criteria: content, quality, creativity, and adherence to the guidelines.
  • Team entries are not allowed. Do not submit artwork created by more than one person. 
  • Parents/Guardians must sign the entry form and submit any required releases.

Essay and Poetry Guidelines 

  • If typed, use 12 pt. or 14 pt. Times New Roman or Arial font.  If handwritten, submissions must be legible.
  • Word count for essays:   
    • CATEGORY I: K- 5th Grades (50-200 words) 
    • CATEGORY II: 6th—8th Grades (250 – 350 words) 
    • CATEGORY III:  9th -12th Grades (400 – 500 words) 
  • Essays will be judged on these additional criteria: correct use of grammar, spelling and punctuation.  
  • Poetry submissions: Correct spelling and originality are a must for poetry submissions. There are no word count restrictions for poems.

Art Submissions Guidelines

  • Use any medium (drawing, painting, photography, sculptures, video, music, and graphic design).  Photographs or quality scanned copies are accepted for work that cannot be submitted via email.
  • All photographs that include images of people must be accompanied by a signed release form allowing the student and the County to share those images.  
  • Artwork with copyrighted or trademarked characters (such as comic, television, or movie characters), with logos or trademarked names of specific products, or with any political references, images or messages will be disqualified. 

“Juneteenth isn’t just a celebration of emancipation, it’s a celebration of that commitment. And, … it belongs to all Americans.” — Jamelle Bouie