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Scholastic Art & Writing Awards - Alliance for Young Artists & Writers


Civic Expression Award

About This Scholarship

Underwritten by the Maurice R. Robinson Fund, the Civic Expression Award offers $1,000 scholarships to six students whose works explore political or social issues.

What is civic engagement, and why should I create art or writing about it?

Civic engagement or civic participation is collective action taken by groups or individuals to address a public concern. It can come in many forms. A few examples include learning about and participating in the democratic process of government, volunteering in your community to make it a better place, or protesting for a social or political cause that you care about.

Artists and writers also play an important part in creating a more just world. Your voice can shape public understanding of political or social issues, inspiring others to act and build toward a better future together.

Sample topics include, but are not limited to: racial, healthcare, criminal, environmental, and disability justice; abuse of police power; women’s, LGBTQ+, and labor rights; immigration; poverty and economic inequality; censorship; food and housing insecurity; public and government responses to the Covid-19 pandemic; voting and elections; education; online privacy and security rights; and U.S. engagement in international politics.   

How do I apply?

Enter your work to any category in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. At the end of your application, opt in to the Civic Expression Award. You will be prompted to include a short personal statement of 50 words or more about your work.

Regional deadlines are as early as December 1, 2021.


What should I write about in my personal statement?

Your personal statement should be 50 words or more and answer the following questions:

  • How¬†does¬†your work¬†highlight¬†a¬†social or political¬†issue¬†or advocate for change?
  • Why¬†is¬†this issue important to you, and why should it be important to others?

Getting Started on Your Art or Writing Work

These resources can help you explore civic engagement through art and writing.