Youth Art Contest

Young people’s voices are often left out of conversations about how to make their neighborhoods and schools safe, supportive spaces where they can thrive. The Center for Youth Equity within the Violence Prevention Institute at Tulane University believes young people should be able to express themselves. Their perspectives on fairness, safety, and community can inspire action toward a future free from violence and full of access and opportunity. 

From August to October 2022, the CYE invited young artists from the New Orleans area to submit original artwork to our youth art contest and exhibition. Winners in each category received a financial prize, and all entrants now have their artwork displayed in the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Click here to see the 2022 award winners and a virtual exhibit.

The 2023 Call for Submissions is open as of August 7, 2023. Please review the information below to learn about the theme, eligibility, and submission instructions. The submission deadline is November 1, 2023.

This year, we are also holding a virtual informational and brainstorming session with our judges on Saturday, September 16 at 2 pm. You can sign-up to attend that via Zoom here.

Online Submission Form

Printable Submission Form

Theme, Content, Media, & Dimensions

Topic: So many aspects combine to define who you are and who you will become. One of those is culture. Whether that is the arts (drawing, playing music, or other expression) or customs (traditions, food, and language of your ethnicity and community), culture is something with which you identify. It makes you feel you belong, inspires you, and supports you, especially when you need it most. This year’s theme of the CYE’s youth art contest is “CULTURE.” What does culture mean to you, how do you identify with your culture, and how does your culture support you? Artists may interpret the word “culture” in any way most meaningful to them.

Content Guidelines: Because this artwork will be displayed in a space for all ages, submissions that include gratuitous profanity, nudity, or violence may not be considered for prizes or exhibition. This content is permitted, but it must have a purpose. Our intention is not to restrict artistic vision, so if you have questions about your subject matter, you are welcome to email us at

Medium & Dimensions: Artwork should be in a visual, two-dimensional, fixed medium, and should not exceed 36x36 inches in size. This includes all forms of painting, drawing, photography, and graphic design. Unfortunately, we are unable to display sculpture or video.

Eligibility & Submission Details

This contest is open to individuals between the ages of 11 and 21 as of November 1, 2023 who are residents of Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, or Plaquemines Parish.

Artists must submit their artwork with the following information:

  • Name, age, school, email address, and phone number
  • A 500 character bio
  • A 500 character description of submitted work
  • Permission, name, and contact information of parent or guardian if under the age of 18
  • Artist Release Form

Artwork can be submitted online or in-person delivery.

  • Artwork submitted online can be a photograph or digital file of the piece at the following link:
  • Artwork submitted via in-person delivery should include this printable submission form and Artist Release form and may be dropped off at 1440 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70112 on the following dates and during the following times:
    • Wednesdays August 9 through October 25 from 10 am to 4 pm.
    • Monday, October 30 from 9 am to 6 pm
    • Tuesday, October 31 from 10 am to 4 pm
    • Wednesday, November 1 from 9 am to 6 pm
    • Email to let us know you are dropping off or to schedule an alternate date and time.

Artwork can be submitted by the individual, a caregiver, or the individual's teacher with permission of the parent.

Artists may submit only one artwork for consideration; however, that submission can be in multiple parts.

Entry Fee: $0

Submission Deadline: November 1, 2023

Exhibit & Prizes

Every submission will be displayed in an in-person gallery exhibition at a location to be determined, and every artist will be invited to an exhibit opening and recognition event in December 2023 to see their artwork displayed. At the close of the exhibit, the artwork will be transferred to the Violence Prevention Institute suite for permanent display. Additionally, a website will host digital images of all submissions.

A panel of judges will award prizes in each age group along with a Best of Show award.

  • Best in Show: One work chosen from all submitted will receive a financial prize of $500 and have their artwork digitized to become a mural in the reception area of the Violence Prevention Institute
  • Best in Age Category: One artist from each age category will also receive a financial prize
  • VPI Honorable Mention: Each member of the Violence Prevention Institute Executive committee and staff will select an honorable mention prize. When artwork is transferred to permanent display, honorable mention artwork will receive prominent placement near the office of the person that gave the honorable mention award

All awards will be shared via press release and on the Violence Prevention Institute's website and social media channels