The Racial Unity Team is hosting its fourth annual Art & Poetry Challenge in 2022. New Hampshire residents are invited to submit a poem or visual work of art inspired by this year’s theme of "equity," which means giving people what they need to reach their full potential.
What would equity look like in New Hampshire? Write a poem or create visual art to express your vision.
Eligibility and Rules
The Challenge is open to all residents of New Hampshire. Submissions are welcomed in the following five categories:
Each participant may submit only one poem or artwork for review.
Poems may be no more than 1 to 2 pages and 50 lines. Poems should be submitted in Times New Roman font, size 12; line spacing 1.5
Visual artwork may not exceed 16x20 inches.
3-D submissions may be no larger than 12x12x12 and weigh no more than 10 pounds.
Collaborative submissions are allowed for both poetry and visual art.
Elementary school students may enter a joint project that includes a poster-sized submission up to 36x48 inches.
Participants must submit their poem or photo of their artwork by April 15, 2022. The Submission Form, which includes an “artist statement,” must be completed online. There is a sample artist statement on the Submission Form.
Where to submit your entry
A total of $6,000 in prize money will be shared among first-, second-, and third-place winners in both poetry and visual arts for all five categories. The awards will include a minimum of $300 for first place, $200 for second, and $100 for third.
In addition, a Racial Unity Team President’s Award will recognize collaborative submissions and a positive impact on those around them.
Professional poets and artists will select the winners from among the participants, who remain anonymous in the judging process. Judges use the following criteria:
For poetry: strong, original voice and language and demonstration of creativity.
For visual art: clarity of perspective and originality in use of color and design.
For both poetry and visual art:
Winners will be announced in June 2022. Plans are to exhibit winners at town halls, selected local libraries, and in a virtual exhibit format on the Racial Unity Team website.
In addition, poets may be asked to read their poems to local audiences and art winners to describe their art in select opening ceremonies. This is an offer each participant is free to accept or decline.
The following resources are offered to assist teachers discuss the concept of equity in their classrooms as they help students create their submissions. LIST OF RESOURCES
By entering the Art & Poetry Challenge, you are granting the Racial Unity Team a non-exclusive perpetual license to reproduce images of your artwork or poetry on our Facebook page, website, and in the marketing of the Art & Poetry Challenge to the general public. Artworks will not be used for any other purpose than that which is stated here. All winning entries will be displayed on the Racial Unity Team website and may be displayed during other public events.
Tomasen M. Carey, M.Ed., is a Senior Lecturer in the English Department at the University of New Hampshire. She is the Director of the UNH Writers Academy, the Field Coordinator for the Learning Through Teaching Program, and Instructor of the New Hampshire Literacy Institutes. She loves working alongside writers of all ages to help them find their creative spirit and voice. She is the voice behind the blog, conversationeducation.com.
Emily M. Hinnov, Ph.D., is a professor of English and program coordinator for the English major at Great Bay Community College, where she teaches college writing, women's literature, film studies, and British literature from Beowulf to Virginia Woolf. As a scholar in the field of literary modernism, she has published several essays and chapters in academic books and journals, as well as a monograph and a co-edited volume. At Great Bay, she is a regular contributor to and supporter of the NH Humanities Collaborative, an Andrew Mellon Foundation-funded initiative to bring humanities programming to NH students and citizens across the community college and university systems.
Courtney Marshall, Ph.D., posted on her Facebook page: “I am a Black feminist fitness instructor and high school English teacher. Let’s get free!” Courtney leads dialogues on race, gender, and social justice issues and is an advocate for—and writer on—prison reform. She was a facilitator for the UNH MLK Leadership Summit for students and has run literacy groups at the Berlin, New Hampshire, Correctional Facility in hopes of improving prison life by bringing literature to inmates. Over the years she has taught as a professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies at UNH and as an English teacher at Phillips Exeter Academy.
Hannah Rubin is an eleventh grader at Phillips Exeter Academy. Her writing has been honored by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and 2021 Racial Unity Art & Poetry Challenge competition and has been featured in The Poet’s Touchstone and the Black Matter is Life poetry series. She is a member of the NH Teen Poet Laureate Team, part of the Writing the Land project, and the Submissions Coordinator for The Poet’s Touchstone volume 64, issue 1. At her school, she is a co-head of three clubs related to classical music, trans-disciplinary art, and volunteer music lessons.
Kathleen McCaffery-Pomerleau is a compassionate dynamic educator, who has taught second graders for 15 years at the Main Street School, in Exeter, New Hampshire. She earned, from the University of New Hampshire, a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Studio Arts, and a Master of Education in Art Education K-12 and Elementary Education K-6. She recently worked on updating the NH Arts Standards with the Department of Education. She has worked with the Lorenzo De’ Medici School of Art and UNH FAMILYHOSTEL to plan art education units for families touring the artistic sites of Florence, Italy, including the Uffizi Gallery.
Cynthia Velasquez is a native of Los Angeles, California, and her work reimagines home as a space shaped by queer diaspora and memory. Her spatial reimagining is influenced by a frugal use of cultural materials. Using photos, storytelling, song, and scent, she develops a visual element toward remembering in a more permanent way. Mediums include multimedia painting, ink, clay, and photography. She has participated in several solo and group shows and film festivals nationally and internationally. She studied at Cal Arts in the Aesthetics & Politics Program, School of Critical Studies. Cynthia is an Admissions Counselor for Diversity at UNH. She serves as a gallery reviewer for 3S Artspace and other national organizations like Escondido Canyon (Art House) and Movimiento Archivo (archive) and does digital and analog portraits! www.cynthiakvelasquez.com
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