The December Sixth Essay/Visual Arts Award Competition 2021 for Students in Grades 7-12

The December Sixth Essay/Visual Arts Award Competition 2021 for Students in Grades 7-12

The Hartford Court of Common Council announces the DECEMBER SIXTH ESSAY/VISUAL ARTS AWARD COMPETITION 2021

The December Sixth Project was created in 2018, by Hartford Public High School students who developed a Capstone Project to commemorate the abolition of slavery as part of their assignment in Mr.Bobby Abate’s high school history class. Thanks to the impetus of co-founder/student Darren Mack, The December Sixth Project, gained municipal and statewide support [LEARN MORE HERE]. The Hartford

Left to right, HPHS history teacher, Bobby Abate, State Representative Joshua Hall, former HPHS Principal Kiaundra Smith, and student leader, Darren Mack hold copies of Public Act 19-152.

Court of Common Council passed legislation that encouraged Hartford public schools district-wide participation for students to join commemorating the historic date.

By 2019, Hartford State Representative Joshua Hall introduced the December Sixth Project as a Connecticut state bill and it successfully passed as Senate Bill No. 1091 Public Act No. 19-152.

Today, The December Sixth Project- is a city-wide essay/visual arts competition for Grades 7- 12  students.  Winners receive monetary prizes up to $500 each, and a paid trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture (pictured above.) The deadline for entries this year is November 3rd, 2021. Funds awarded come from Hartford City Council’s Civic Engagement Fund in collaboration with various Hartford community partners.

Contest Objective:

The December Sixth Committee, the City of Hartford Court of Common Councilors and Hartford Public Schools, seek to support creative energy among city youth, and encourage young students in disciplines (literacy, video/photography, fine arts, etc.) to exercise their original creative process on the subject of the 13th Amendment (legally ended slavery in America) and it’s effect on their community.

Participation & Eligibility:

The contest is open to all students Grades 7th-12th that meet one of the following criteria:

  • Any student residing in Hartford and attending any public, private, charter or magnet school, in or outside of Hartford.
  • Any student attending Hartford Public Schools
  • Any student residing in Hartford who is home schooled.

Youth Interested in participating will have to submit a one page essay, poster, painting, photo, video, poem elaborating on the following questions:

  • What does the passage of the 13th Amendment on December 6th 1865 (the abolition of slavery) mean to you?
  • If you could, how would you carry out a December Sixth Project in your community so that others could commemorate this date? How would you give back to your community to express and/or bring people together around the issue of the abolition of slavery in the United States?


  • All entries must be submitted by November 3rd, 2021
  • All written entries must be typed on standard size paper 8 ½”X11” (entries submitted on smaller or larger paper than specified size will be eliminated. If emailing your essay- please save it as a Microsoft word document with your last name as the file name.
  • Essays should not exceed 1,000 words.
  • For photos, all entries must be 8”x10” at 300 DPI Resolution.
  • For drawing, entries can begin at 8”½” X11.
  • All entries must have complete information at the top of the paper: (student’s name, complete home mailing address, school, teacher’s name, grade, and age).
  • All entries must be the entrant’s original work. Entries that have won other contests or that have appeared in any print or online publications are not eligible.

Judging Criteria:

Entries will be evaluated on the basis of content and creativity. Please note that each of the questions must be answered. A panel of judges composed of City Councilors, Council Aides, teachers, college students, social workers and artists has been established as the Committee that will judge the entries


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