Give students confidence in their abilities to explore ideas and learn through the arts!
Enroll your school in the 2019-2020 national arts awards program starting July 1.
Each year hundreds of thousands of students in preschool through grade 12 create and submit original works in the areas of dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts. Students may participate in the national awards program through their school’s PTA.
The 2019-2020 theme “Look Within” video call for entries:
2019-2020 Local Leader’s Guide
The Local Leader’s Guide.Docx .PDF (Spanish.Docx .PDF) provides an overview of the steps necessary to host a program at your school. You’ll also find helpful tools to recruit and train volunteers as well as plan educational activities and family celebrations.
Annual Theme Search Contest
Students can participate in the annual Theme Search Contest according to State PTA Reflections Program guidelines. Every year, one winning student’s theme is selected by a team of National PTA volunteers. The winning student is awarded $100 and recognized in National PTA’s awards celebration program booklet.
Look Within is the winning theme for the 2019-2020 program year, submitted by Enashele Campbell, a Kindergartner from H. Guy Child Elementary PTA in Ogden, UT!
Congratulations to the winner of our 2020-2021 annual Theme Search Contest, Rylee Stier, a 1st Grader from Burney Elementary School in Burney, California. The 2020-2021 Reflections theme will be I Matter Because… Congratulations again to Rylee and California State PTA!
Students can participate in the annual Theme Search Contest according to State PTA Reflections Program guidelines. One winning theme will be selected in 2020 and used as the Reflections program theme during the 2021-2022 school year.
Title and Artist Statement
Judges will consider your title and artist statement to learn more about your original work and creative interpretation of the theme. Give your work a title that stands out and describe how your work relates to your own personal interpretation of the theme.
Use these guiding questions to help you write an artist statement:
- How does your work relate to the theme?
- What is your personal connection to the theme?
- What did you use to create your work (e.g., supplies, technology, instrumentation, props, etc.)
- What/who was your inspiration?
Judges look for personal interpretations on the program theme that best exemplify creativity and technical skill.
- Interpretation: How closely the piece relates to the theme, based on the work itself and the artist statement.
- Creativity: How creative and original the piece is in its conception of the theme and its presentation.
- Technique: The level of skill demonstrated in the basic principles/techniques of the arts area.
Scholarships and Prizes
National level awards include the following:
- Merit Award: Bronze Medal; Certificate of Merit; Work featured in the traveling exhibition.
- Award of Excellence: $200 Young Artist Scholarship; Silver Medal; Certificate of Excellence; Work featured in the traveling exhibition.
- Outstanding Interpretation Award: An expense-paid trip for awardee and chaperone to showcase work on stage at the National PTA Awards and Reflections Celebration; $800 Young Artist Scholarship; Gold Medal; Certificate of Outstanding Interpretation; Work featured in the traveling exhibition; $200 Prize for Local PTA Unit.
2020 National Winners
The 2019-2020 national winners will be announced May 1, 2020. Honorees will be celebrated at the National PTA Convention in Louisville, KY in June 2020.
National PTA will collect and curate artwork for the traveling exhibit over the summer of 2019. The traveling exhibit for the 2018-2019 program year Heroes Around Me will begin on January 13th, 2020 at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC and will conclude June 2020 in Louisville, KY. Artwork will be returned to student winners over the summer of 2020.
National Arts in Education Week
Encourage Local PTAs to enroll and have fun announcing this year’s theme. Share how Reflections sparks interest in the arts with #ArtsEdWeek.
National Arts and Humanities Month
Encourage Local PTAs to host opportunities for all students to participate in Reflections. Share how Reflections supports learning fun in school and at home with #ShowYourArt.
For district deadlines contact local PTA/PTSA leadership.
National Deadline for Theme Search Submissions
Each state may submit up to five themes to the annual Theme Search Contest.
Entries are due to KY PTA
PTA Reflections Enrollment Closes
National Deadline for Reflections Submissions
Submit up to 30 entries to the national level using the Student Entry Portal.
For details, please refer to your state leader’s guide.
National Awards Announced
2019-2020 Program Materials
Templates (Rules and Entry Form)
Five Reasons To Run The Reflections Program
- Students who participate get an opportunity to explore the arts and culture, develop creative thinking and problem-solving skills and recognize themselves as artists and become more interested in the ideas and works of others.
- The Reflections Program is run by parent volunteers; therefore providing another opportunity to involve parents in their children’s education.
- Participating in the Reflections Program gives students a chance to experiment in six art categories: literature, musical composition, photography, visual arts (including such forms as drawing, painting, printmaking, and collage), dance choreography, and film production.
- When children express themselves through words, pictures, music, and other art media they grow intellectually – they learn to analyze their thoughts and feelings. Students may not use trademarked images. i.e. Marvel and DC comics.
- The Reflections Program helps parents recognize, support, and enhance the continuous self-discovery process of their children.