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Illinois High School Students Recognized in Congressional Art Competition

The 2009 Congressional Art Competition marked the 28th year that congressional representatives and their young constituents have been brought together through art, and this year, 17 high school students were recognized from throughout Illinois. 

The competition, which is sponsored by the Congressional Institute, provides an opportunity for members of Congress to recognize and encourage the artistic talents of their high school constituents, who submit artistic pieces such as paintings and drawings to their local representatives’ offices. Each office sets up an objective jury panel that judges the pieces, and one piece is chosen from each district to be displayed in the walkway between the House office buildings and the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

“The competition really encourages art, and it allows Congress to show its appreciation for art and the constituents at a local level,” says Mark Strand, president of the Congressional Institute.

While the competition is national, much of the selection process takes place in members’ districts, Strand says. 

“Each office does its own local program and has its own system to advertise for the competition and judge the pieces,” Strand explains. “It’s been very successful, and this year, 393 districts of 435 participated, which is great.”

Congressional representatives usually begin advertising for submissions in January or February of each year, Strand says, and a reception honoring the winners is held each June in Washington, D.C.

Illinois Issues, December 2009


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