The ArtEffect Project

Discover extraordinary individuals who changed history yet were never recognized.
Create an artistic interpretation that honors the legacy of your Unsung Hero.
Change the world for the better by inspiring positive social action through your project.

  • Competition Overview

    The ArtEffect Project, with cash prizes totaling $16,500, teaches students their power to effect positive change through creative storytelling that celebrates Unsung Heroes from history. LMC invites U.S. and international middle and high school students to submit high-quality creative art projects in the following mediums: visual arts, film, theater, and creative nonfiction. Students are encouraged to showcase their completed projects beyond the classroom walls in order to create positive community impact and inspire social action.

    Winning projects may be chosen for display in LMC’s Hall of Unsung Heroes in Fort Scott, Kansas.

  • Prizes

    Grand Prize: $5,000
    Best in Show – Visual Arts: $2,500
    Best in Show – Filmmaking: $2,500
    Best in Show – Theater: $2,500
    Best in Show – Creative Nonfiction: $2,500
    Junior Division Prize: $1,500

    In addition to monetary prizes, the 6 winning pieces will receive full consideration for display in LMC’s Hall of Unsung Heroes in Fort Scott, Kansas.

  • Categories

    LMC seeks high-quality art projects that celebrate extraordinary individuals who positively impacted the lives of others yet never received recognition for their actions. Students are invited to submit art projects in the following categories:

    Category 1: Celebrating Unsung Heroes

    Choose an already discovered Unsung Hero. Immerse yourself in your chosen Unsung Hero’s story: How did she or he create positive change in the lives of others and the world? What exemplary qualities does this person demonstrate? Share your creative interpretation that celebrates the legacy of this Unsung Hero’s extraordinary life.

    Choose from these Unsung Heroes.

    Category 2: Discovering Unsung Heroes

    Discover your own Unsung Hero from history and share her or his inspiring story with the world through your creative arts project. An Unsung Hero is defined as a person who has positively and profoundly impacted the course of history by improving the lives of others, but has yet to be recognized for his or her actions. The impact of the Unsung Hero’s actions must have stood the test of time (we recommend going back at least two decades in history).

    In determining whether your subject is an Unsung Hero, ask yourself:

    Is your subject someone who is unknown by the general public and did not receive recognition for his/her actions?

    Did this person’s actions profoundly and positively impact the course of history?

    Has this person’s actions stood the test of time (at least 20 years)?

    Email your subject idea to arteffectproject@lowellmilkencenter.org by December 31, 2017 for approval.

  • Project Mediums

    Visual Arts

    There is no size limit and the following media are acceptable:

    • Dry media 2-D: drawing, photography, charcoal, graphite, pastels
    • Wet media 2-D: painting, watercolor, acrylic, oil, printmaking
    • Digital/mixed media: photography, textiles, paper collage, graphic design
    • 3-D media: sculpture, ceramic

     No later than February 15, 2018, visual arts entrants must submit the following materials:

    1. A complete Application Form.
    2. An Impact Paper (see below).
    3. High resolution jpeg photos (3 max) of the art work. 5MB limit.

    Filmmaking

    An original narrative short film of 12 minutes or less that creatively interprets the story of an Unsung Hero.

    No later than February 15, 2018, entrants must submit the following materials:

    1. A complete Application Form.
    2. An Impact Paper (see below).
    3. A Vimeo or YouTube link (unlisted or password protected) of the film.

    Theater

    An original theatrical production of 12 minutes or less that creatively interprets the story of an Unsung Hero.

    No later than February 15, 2018, entrants must submit the following materials:

    1. A complete Application Form.
    2. An Impact Paper (see below).
    3. A Vimeo or YouTube link (unlisted or password protected) of the play filmed in one continuous, unedited shot. Please use a tripod and microphone to ensure a steady frame and adequate volume.

    Creative Nonfiction

    A children’s book, young adult novel, or short story (minimum of 15 pages) that creatively interprets the story of an Unsung Hero.

    No later than February 15, 2018, entrants must submit the following materials:

    1. A complete Application Form.
    2. An Impact Paper (see below).
    3. A PDF of the creative nonfiction piece.

  • Impact Paper

    All entrants in any medium must submit an Impact Paper (minimum of 500 words to a maximum of 1,000 words) that addresses the following prompts:

    • What do you find inspirational about the Unsung Hero and why?
    • What is your vision behind your creative interpretation?
    • How did you share your project with your community? Please include photos and links as relevant to illustrate the reach of your project.
  • Judging

    LMC seeks creative and unique visual representations honoring the legacies of Unsung Heroes who have created positive change in history by improving the lives of others. In addition to LMC’s executive leadership, the art competition’s judging panel is comprised of prestigious experts in the fields of art history, design, museum education, filmmaking, and theater.

    The following factors will be used to evaluate projects and determine final scores:

    Creative Interpretation of the Unsung Hero’s Story

    Finished work demonstrates thoughtful, self-directed and independent ideas that are personally relevant in exploring visually how the Unsung Hero created positive change in history by improving the lives of others through their actions.

    Project Quality

    The student’s mastery of the subject is apparent in the concept, composition and execution of the work, and reveals a sense of quality, attention to detail and time spent on the work. The final product demonstrates an understanding of and expertise in the medium being used and its capabilities.

    Project Impact

    The project’s design and execution demonstrates an intent to share the Unsung Hero’s story widely in order to raise awareness and create positive community impact. The student has documented the reach of his/her project in a clear and compelling manner.

  • Rules & Eligibility

    The ArtEffect Project is open to U.S. and international middle and high school students. Both individual and group projects are eligible. Projects must be entirely student-produced. Students are encouraged to collaborate across disciplines and mediums (for example, an illustrated children’s book, or a theater production that involves music students).

    Projects will be judged in the following Divisions:

    Junior Division: Middle School
    Senior Division: High School

  • Important Deadlines

    September 1, 2017

    Call for submissions opens.

    December 31, 2017

    Due date for topic approval if submitting art work under the “Discovering Unsung Heroes” category. (Email arteffectproject@lowellmilkencenter.org for topic approval.)

    February 15, 2018

    Call for submissions closes. By this date, entrants must submit all required materials HERE (link coming soon).

    March 15, 2018

    Finalists announced.

    Note: Winners will be notified directly and public notification will take place no later than April 15, 2018.
  • For Educators: Art Project Lesson Plan

    Make heroes of your students! Unsung Heroes art projects integrate positive role models from history into an interdisciplinary, engaging and interactive classroom environment. LMC’s art project lesson plan fulfills multiple parts of the National Art Standards, which are color coded in the lesson plan for easy reference. The lesson plan be scaled up or down according to your class’ interests and needs.

    Get the Art Lesson Plan

Questions? Contact us at artcompetition@lowellmilkencenter.org.