» Annual Holocaust Art and Writing Contest

Engaging and mentoring students in studying the Holocaust and in grappling with its meaning and lessons for today is a vital part of the mission of the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education.

In partnership with The 1939 Society, one of the largest and most active Holocaust survivor organizations in the United States, and with the support of the Samueli Foundation, Dana and Yossie Hollander and others, the Rodgers Center annually sponsors an art and writing contest for middle and high school students. 

Focusing on themes central both to the Holocaust and to ethical decision making in our world today, the contest gives students from public, private and parochial schools the opportunity to share their creative  works in response to survivors’ oral testimonies.

Representatives and educators from each school attend the awards ceremony where they meet Holocaust survivors.

+ - TOP-PLACING ENTRIES (2017)

MIDDLE SCHOOL

 

FIRST PLACE

SECOND PLACE

ART
From Old to Young: A Story to Remember
by Kaylee Takenaga

ART
Hope Through the Eyes of a Child
by Sadie Ngo

FILM
Invisible
by Yunji Kim

FILM
Pain of Silence
by Andrew Carlson

POETRY
Ashes
by Charlotte Casey

POETRY
Precious Treasure
by Isabel Kehoe

PROSE
Lives of Color
by Lyndsey Issa

PROSE
Warmth in Others
by Dominick Spano


HIGH SCHOOL

FIRST PLACE

SECOND PLACE

ART
Night of the Broken Glass and Broken Hearts
by Ashlyn Elggren

ART
Hand in Hand
by Rachel Chae

FILM
My Letter
by Hailey Shi

 

FILM
One Person Can Make a Difference
by Kenzington Martin

 

POETRY
I don't know what to say
by Emily van Oudenhove

POETRY
rules for a language recovering from genocide
by Sabina Holzman

PROSE
Mine to Tell: Sol Messinger's Story
by Lillia Velau
PROSE
The Luxury of Oblivion
by Megan Fu

+ - 19th Annual Holocaust Art and Writing Contest

Messenger of Memory

Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, author, teacher, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, believed that memories of the Holocaust can become messages. When that happens, the past becomes present to us and brings us into the world of the survivors and rescuers. Professor Wiesel said “when you listen to a witness, you become a witness."

We can never experience what the survivors and rescuers of the Holocaust lived through. Our memories and theirs will never be the same, but by listening to their memories, we can become witnesses to their experiences. We can become their messengers of memory

What will your message be?

+ - Prompt

Select and view one full-length survivor or rescuer testimony from any of the following:

  • The 1939 Society website at the1939society.org
  • Chapman University’s Holocaust Art and Writing Contest website featuring video testimonies from the collection of the USC Shoah Foundation — The Institute for Visual History and Education at chapman.edu/contest-testimonies
  • USC Shoah Foundation - The Institute for Visual History and Education’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/uscshoahfoundation (“Full-Length Testimonies” playlists only)

After you listen to the testimony, think about a specific memory the survivor or rescuer shared which was personally meaningful or compelling for you. Then consider the message this memory conveyed to you.

Through your creativity, in art, prose, poetry or film, express this message in a way that demonstrates what it conveys about that survivor's/rescuer's experience during the Holocaust, why it became a message for you, and how you will carry it forward as a messenger of memory.

**Lists of testimonies that are one to two hours in length are listed on the last page of the Educator's Guide.

+ - Inspiration

Memories make us who we are. While our memories are unique to us as individuals, we also share memories with others, including our families, friends, and communities. Through memories we share both joy and sadness, celebration and loss. Survivors and rescuers of the Holocaust had many of the same experiences and, in their testimonies, express memories shaped by these experiences and by each individual's unique identity. No two Holocaust survivors' or rescuers' testimonies are the same although they recount many of the same experiences and emotions.

We each listen and interpret memories in our own way as well, shaped in part by our interests, experiences, and memories. As we listen to a rescuer's or survivor's testimony, one memory may especially capture our attention and imagination. We may feel as if the survivor or rescuer is speaking directly to us. When that happens, memory has become message.

Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, author, teacher, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, believed that memories of the Holocaust can become messages. When that happens, the past becomes present to us and brings us into the world of the survivors and rescuers. Professor Wiesel said “when you listen to a witness, you become a witness."

We can never experience what the survivors and rescuers of the Holocaust lived through. Our memories and theirs will never be the same, but by listening to their memories, we can become witnesses to their experiences. We can become their messengers of memory.

+ - Art Criteria

  • Entries must be submitted with a cover sheet (printable or fillable form). Please do not staple, tape or otherwise attach the cover sheet to the artwork.

  • Entries must reflect genuine engagement with the survivor’s  or rescuer's testimony in its historical context and constitute a thoughtful and creative response.

  • Entries must be based on a survivor’s or rescuer’s testimony available from one of the following sources:

  • Entries must be submitted with the artist’s statement that includes:May be only two-dimensional image on medium no thicker than ¾” and submission must not exceed 12” x 18.”

    • Title of the work
    • Name of survivor to whose testimony this work is a response
    • Statement of how the work addresses the prompt
    • Statement must not include student or school name and must not exceed 100 words.
    • Acknowledgement of sources – to protect copyright holders, proper citation of all sources is required. Permission for sources that are not public domain must be obtained in writing from copyright holder and submitted with entry.
  • Artwork must not be matted or framed.

  • Fixative spray must be applied to charcoal, pencil, pastel, and chalk art.

  • May include photography, computer-generated images, or may be in charcoal, pencil, pastel, chalk, watercolors, acrylics, or oils. Please note that all images, whether computer, artist, or photo-generated are considered property of the original artist.

  • Renderings of another’s work will be disqualified.

  • Entries that do not follow the criteria will be disqualified.

+ - Film Criteria

  • Entries must be submitted with a cover sheet (printable or fillable form).

  • Entries must reflect genuine engagement with the survivor’s  or rescuer's testimony in its historical context and constitute a thoughtful and creative response.

  • Entries must be based on a survivor’s or rescuer’s testimony available from one of the following sources:

  • Entries must be submitted with the filmmaker’s statement including:Content viewing time may be no longer than three (3) minutes.

      • Title of the work
      • Name of survivor to whose testimony this work is a response
      • Statement of how the work addresses the prompt
      • Statement must not include student or school name and must not exceed 100 words.
      • Acknowledgement of sources – to protect copyright holders, proper citation of all sources is required. Permission for sources that are not public domain must be obtained in writing from copyright holder and submitted with entry.
  • Final file size must not exceed 600 MB.

  • Submit film without credits for blind judging. A completed film with credits should be prepared in the event the film is selected for screening.

  • Final films may be submitted using WeTransfer.com, a free file transfer website.

  • To ensure compatibility with MAC and PC, please use either QuickTime or MPEG format.

  • Entries that do not follow the criteria will be disqualified.

 We are grateful to the Orange County Klezmers for making available to registered participants musical selections from their album Echoes of Vilna. To preview or to request tracks for use in a film entry, please email Jessica MyLymuk, cioffi@chapman.edu.

 Students wishing to use music, photos, video, or other artwork in their films should be aware that these may be protected by U.S. copyright law and therefore require permission from the artists to use them.  Purchasing or downloading materials from a website is generally intended for personal and home use only and does not grant the purchaser the right to reproduce, perform, or display copyrighted works publicly.  For any copyrighted works appearing in the film, permission must be obtained from the copyright holders and submitted with the entry.

          

+ - Poetry Criteria

  • Entries must be submitted with a cover sheet (printable or fillable form). Please do not staple, tape or otherwise attach the cover sheet to the entry.

  • Entries must reflect genuine engagement with the survivor’s  or rescuer's testimony in its historical context and constitute a thoughtful and creative response.

  • Entries must be based on a survivor’s or rescuer’s testimony available from one of the following sources:Entries that do not follow the criteria will be disqualified.

  • Entries must be titled.

  • Entries must be word-processed.

  • Entries must not include graphics, drawings or other images. It must be clear that the entry is a poem and not an artwork.

  • Entries must not include reference to student or school name.

  • Students should include the name of the survivor or rescuer about whom the entry is written.

  • Entries may not exceed one page: Times New Roman 12, 1” margins, single spaced

  • Entries that do not follow the criteria will be disqualified.

+ - Prose Criteria

  • Entries must be submitted with a cover sheet (printable or fillable form). Please do not staple, tape or otherwise attach the cover sheet to the entry.

  • Entries must reflect genuine engagement with the survivor’s  or rescuer's testimony in its historical context and constitute a thoughtful and creative response.

  • Entries must be based on a survivor’s or rescuer’s testimony available from one of the following sources:Entries that do not follow the criteria will be disqualified.

  • Entries must be titled.

  • Entries must be word-processed.

  • Entries must not include reference to student or school name.

  • Students should include the name of the survivor or rescuer about whom the entry is written.

  • Entries may not exceed one page: Times New Roman 12, 1” margins, single spaced

  • Entries that do not follow the criteria will be disqualified.

Cover Sheet

Our new cover sheets will be coming this summer!

Reminder:
Each entry must have a cover sheet

Important Dates

Entry Postmark Date:
February 2, 2018

Digital Submission due date:
February 5, 2018

Awards Ceremony
March 9, 2018

Music for Films!

We are grateful to the Orange County Klezmers for making available at no cost to registered participants musical selections from their album Echoes of Vilna. These tracks may only be used for projects created for the Holocaust Art and Writing Contest. 

Request link to preview or download songs

Educator's Guide

NOW AVAILABLE!

Download the 2017-2018 Educator's Guide with judging rubrics, common core connections and frequently asked questions about the contest.