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Michael Shermis
Special Projects Coordinator
Community and Family Resources Department

Bicentennial Arts Contest Will Celebrate Diversity and Young Artists

Bloomington, Ind. – The Bicentennial Arts Contest is now accepting submissions from youth who create artwork that showcases a minority or underrepresented person or organization from our community’s history. The contest is organized by a collaborative group representing several City of Bloomington commissions and Monroe County’s bicentennial planning committee. The contest is open to any school-aged youth who lives in Monroe County.  Submissions from a broad range of artistic genres and mediums will be accepted.

“To celebrate the bicentennial, all of our groups wanted to do something that helped showcase people in our community who don’t always get recognition,” says Julie Warren, with the Commission on the Status of Children and Youth. “This is a diverse community with a proud history of inclusion, so we wanted to create a contest that was also inclusive, and allowed youth in the area to explore that history and use their creative talents.”

The contest is part of the City of Bloomington and Monroe County Bicentennial Celebration. Youth are encouraged to research a person or organization from our community using such local resources as the Monroe County History Center and the Monroe County Public Library and to create a drawing, sculpture, song, play, video, or other artwork that portrays the subject they researched. The subjects should be people from underrepresented populations, such as racial, religious, or ethnic minorities; people in the LGBTQ community; people with disabilities; the economically disadvantaged; or others who have been traditionally overlooked. Three individual winners and one group winner will be chosen in each of the four following grade-level categories: K-2, 3-6, 7-8, and 9-12.  Their works will be displayed at the Monroe County History Center in an exhibition opening with a reception on July 27, when prizes will be presented to the winners.

The Bicentennial Art Contest was created by the Bloomington Commission on the Status of Children and Youth, the Commission on the Status of Black Males, the Commission on the Status of Women, the Human Rights Commission, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration Commission, and the Bloomington Arts Commission, along with a representative of the Monroe County Bicentennial Planning Committee.

Entries can be submitted in person to the Community and Family Resources Department at City Hall (401 N. Morton St., Suite 260) or via email to by 5 p.m. on June 29, 2018. Official guidelines, coversheet, and a list of research resources are available at

This contest is endorsed by the City of Bloomington Monroe County Bicentennial Committee.