This year's theme was submitted by Jason Yevin, from Salk/Macarthur PTSA in New York.  Thanks, Jason!
This year's theme was submitted by Jason Yevin, from Salk/Macarthur PTSA in New York. Thanks, Jason!

The Reflections Arts Program is a National PTA program that encourages students across the US to express themselves through works of art surrounding a central theme that is suggested by children.  Students can submit entries in one of the six categories: Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography and Visual Arts.

This year we are offering $500 grants to encourage students to get creative and express themselves. You can host an event specifically for students to complete their projects, add an art station at an already planned event (school dance, conferences, etc) or work with your teachers to incorporate time to complete submissions in class. All submitted art pieces must have parent approval. Funds may be used to purchase art supplies for student use.

Applications for this grant are due by September 25, 2022.

READY TO ROLL OUT YOUR REFLECTIONS PROGRAM?

Every year local units and councils that want to participate in the Reflections Program need to register with the National PTA.  Wisconsin PTA has a chair, Andi Krizan, that can answer your questions and assist you with uploading the artwork to the Reflections Portal.  First things, first…hit the button below to register now!

Categories/Rules:

DANCE CHOREOGRAPHY is the act of creating movement. The choreographer (student submitting entry) maybe the performer or one of the performers, but the choreographer does not have to perform in the entry.

Reflect on the 2022-2022 Theme: I Will Change the World By…

Consider the following styles and ensembles to portray your original choreography: Ballet, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Jazz, Tap, Folk Dance, Religious Dance, Dance Ensembles (color guard/indoor guard), Ice Skating/Dancing and Gymnastics-floor Routine.

Consider use of background song(s), props and the location to show a clear relation of the dance choreography to the theme. An explanation of the origin of the dance and/or the significance of the choreography might be a useful addition to the artist statement when submitting a dance choreography entry that involves traditional, cultural or regional dances. Whether an entry displays formal dance technique or a simple approach, it will be judged primarily on how well the student uses his or her artistic vision to portray the theme, originality and creativity.

Suggestions for Audio/Visual Quality:

  • Use a tripod to hold the camera still.
  • Make sure there is plenty of lighting, especially if shooting indoors.
  • Turn off all noise-making devices in the room (air conditioners, fans, telephones, etc.).
  • Record a short test and listen to it. If needed, change the record volume or microphone location.
  • Make sure the background music (if any) is audible on the recording.
  • Allow for two seconds of silence at the beginning and end of your recording.

Copyright: Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. Plagiarized entries will be disqualified. Use of background music must be cited on the student entry form.

Submission Requirements:

  • Only new pieces of artwork inspired by the theme may be submitted.
  • Each entry must be the original work of one student only.
  • Video must not exceed 5 minutes in length and 1,000 MB (1,000 megabyte) in file size.
  • Accepted file formats include: .mp4, .mov, .avi file format. 
  • Cite background music (if any) on the student entry form.
  • If necessary, label CD/DVD/flash drive with title of artwork, arts category, and division.
  • Submit dance video and student entry form according to your PTA’s instructions.

All participants must also follow Official Rules for Participation

FILM PRODUCTION is the process of making a film. The producer (student submitting the entry) is not required to appear in the film but if the student chooses to, a camera tripod may be used. All screenwriting, directing and editing must be done by the student producer. All entries must be original student footage. PowerPoint presentations are prohibited.

Reflect on the 2021-2022 Theme: I Will Change the World By…

Consider the following styles to portray your original work of fiction or nonfiction:

  • Animation: Demonstrates motion by sequencing still objects or using computer-generated graphics.
  • Narrative: Tells a fictional story developed by the student.
  • Documentary: Presents facts and information.
  • Experimental: Explores movement, light and montage.
  • Multimedia: Uses a combination of different contents (text, audio, still images, animation, etc.).

An explanation of the storyline and/or the significance of the film style might be a useful addition to the artist statement. Whether an entry displays use of technologies or a simple approach, it will be judged primarily on how well the student uses his or her artistic vision to portray the theme, originality and creativity. Software can be used to create an entry but only to enhance and/or present the work, not provide the primary design.

Copyright: Entry may include public places, well-known products, trademarks or certain other copyrighted material as long as that copyrighted material is nonessential to the subject matter of the piece and/or is a smaller element of a whole. Use of background music must be cited on the student entry form.

Suggestions for Audio/Visual Quality:

  • Use a tripod to hold the camera still
  • Make sure there is plenty of lighting, especially if shooting indoors
  • Turn off all noise-making devices in the room (air conditioners, fans, telephones, etc.)
  • Record a short test and listen to it. If needed, change the record volume or microphone location.
  • Make sure the background music (if any) is audible on the recording.
  • Allow for two seconds of silence at the beginning and end of your recording.

Submission Requirements

  • Only new pieces of artwork inspired by the theme may be submitted.
  • Each entry must be the original work of one student only.
  • Video must not exceed 5 minutes in length and 1,000 MB (1,000 megabyte) in file size.
  • Accepted file formats include: .mp4, .mov, .avi.
  • Use of background music must be cited on the student entry form.
  • If necessary, label CD/DVD/flashdrive with title of artwork, arts category and division.
  • Submit film and student entry form according to your PTA’s instructions.

LITERATURE is the art of writing. The author (student submitting entry) is a person who expresses their own thoughts and ideas through the use of words. Authors submit a single literary work, handwritten or typed, using grade-appropriate grammar, punctuation and spelling. Collections of literary work (such as poems and short stories) are not accepted.

Reflect on the 2021-2022 Theme: I Will Change the World By…

Consider the following literary styles to portray your original work of fiction or nonfiction: Prose, Poetry, Drama, Reflective essay, Narrative, Short story.

An explanation of the storyline and/or the significance of the literature style might be a useful addition to the artist statement. Whether an entry displays formal writing technique or a simple approach, it will be judged primarily on how well the student uses his or her artistic vision to portray the theme, originality and creativity. Illustrated entries, including books, with pictures drawn by the student author are acceptable; however, only literary content is judged.

Acceptable Use of Type, Dictation and Translation:

  • Be typed by another person as long as the original work or a copy of the original work is attached.
  • Be dictated to another person and printed or typed in exact words as spoken by the student if the student is in pre-school, kindergarten or 1st grade. (Transcribers should make every attempt to retain the same level of language and accuracy that is reflected in the student’s original work).
  • Students for whom English is not their first language may submit literature entries in their own language. An interpretive translation in English must accompany the entry.
  • Translators should make every attempt to retain the same level of language and accuracy that is reflected in the student’s original work.

Copyright: Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. Plagiarized entries will be disqualified.

Submission Requirements:

  • Only new pieces of artwork inspired by the theme may be submitted.
  • Each entry must be the original work of one student only.
  • Entry must not exceed 2,000 words.
  • Hand written & typed entries are accepted on 8.5×11 paper (one sided only), PDF file.
  • Number each page.
  • Include student name, entry title, arts category and division on back of entry.

All participants must also follow Official Rules for Participation

MUSIC COMPOSITION is the process of creating a new piece of music. The composer (student submitting entry) is a person who expresses their own thoughts and ideas through the use of sound. The student composer may submit an entry performed by an individual or group and/or make use of a sound library generated performance of a composed score. Student composers are not required to perform their composition, but a recording of the composition must be included. Middle and high school grade divisions must include either music score/notation, either traditional or tablature, or a written reflective statement that provides a musically technical explanation of how the music was created (100 words or less).

Reflect on the 2021-2022 Theme: I Will Change the World By…

Consider the following musical styles and instruments to portray your original composition: A Cappella, Blues, Choral, Country, Electronic, Hip hop, Jazz, Latin, Musical, Orchestral, Pop, R&B, Religious, Rock, Symphonic/Concert Band and Traditional.

All instruments, sounds, styles and combinations are accepted. Software may be used to produce an audio recording. Entries containing algorithmic composition techniques are not accepted. An explanation of the origin of the music and/or the significance of the music style might be a useful addition to the artist statement when submitting a music composition that involves traditional, cultural or regional instruments. Whether an entry displays formal composition technique or a simple approach, it will   be judged primarily on how well the student uses his or her artistic vision to portray the theme, originality and creativity.

Suggestions for Audio Quality:

  • Do not place the recording device on top of an instrument(s) or speakers.
  • Turn off all noise-making devices in the room (air conditioners, fans, telephones, etc.).
  • Record a short test and listen to it. If needed, change the record volume or microphone location.
  • Make sure the music is audible on the recording.
  • Allow for two seconds of silence at the beginning and end of your recording.

Notation & Score: (Middle School & High School Divisions Only)

  • Notation is required for the middle and high school divisions. Accepted notations/scores: traditional or tablature music score/notation or a written reflective statement that provides a musically technical explanation of how the music was created (100 words or less).
  • Accepted file types include PDF.
  • Notation software may be used to create a score.
  • Whether the score is hand-written or computer-generated, appropriate instrumentation and voicing are required for the performance.

Copyright: Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. Plagiarized entries will be disqualified.

Submission Requirements:

  • Only new pieces of artwork inspired by the theme may be submitted.
  • Each entry must be the original work of one student only.
  • Audio recording must not exceed 5 minutes in length and 1,000 MB (1,000 megabyte) in file size.
  • Accepted audio file formats include: MP3 and WAV.
  • If necessary, label CD/DVD/flash drive with title of artwork, arts category and division.
  • Submit entry and student entry form to your PTA Reflections Chair.

All participants must also follow Official Rules for Participation

PHOTOGRAPHY is the process of creating an image. The photographer (student submitting entry) is a person who captures their own thoughts and ideas with a camera. By focusing on objects using various lenses, filters and light sources, photographers may demonstrate the use of photographic techniques conventionally or digitally.

Reflect on the 2021-2022 Theme: I Will Change the World By…

Accepted forms of photography include: A single photo, panoramic, photomontage (one print of multiple original photos), a multiple exposure, negative sandwich or photogram. Original black-and- white and color images are accepted.

Non-accepted forms of photography include: Entries with added graphics over the image, including lettering, are not accepted. Collages and collections of photos are not accepted. Original film (negatives or transparencies) and multidimensional pieces are not accepted.

Consider use of objects, lighting and the location to show a clear relation of the photo to the theme. An explanation of the photography process/form might be a useful addition to the artist statement. Whether an entry displays use of technologies or a simple approach, it will be judged primarily on how well the student uses his or her artistic vision to portray the theme, originality and creativity.

Copyright: Use of copyrighted material, including copyrighted cartoon characters or other such material, is not acceptable in any photography submission, with the following exception:

  • Photographs may include public places, well-known products, trademarks or certain other copyrighted material as long as that copyrighted material is incidental to the subject matter of the piece and/or is a smaller element of a whole. The resulting work cannot try to establish an association between the student and the trademark/business/material, or influence the purchase/non-purchase of the trademarked good.

Submission Requirements:

  • Only new pieces of artwork inspired by the theme may be submitted.
  • Each entry must be the original work of one student only.
  • Print must be no smaller than 3×5 and no larger than 8X10 inches.
  • Print must be mounted on sturdy material such as cardboard or poster board not to exceed 11×14 inches, including matting.
  • Framed photos are not accepted.
  • Submit photo and student entry form according to your PTA’s instructions.
  • Dimensions must be at least 640×960 (pixels) and 300 dpi (resolution).
  • Accepted file formats: JPEG, JPG, and PNG.

All participants must also follow Official Rules for Participation

VISUAL ARTS include many art forms that are visual in nature. The artist (student submitting entry) is a person who captures their own thoughts and ideas to create a visual piece of art.

Accepted forms of visual art include: Architecture (2D/3D), carpentry, ceramics, collages, photographic collages (multiple photos cut/pasted), computer-generated image, crafts, design, dioramas, drawing, fiberwork, jewelry, kites, metal etching/punch work, mobiles, painting, printmaking, sculpture and wind chimes. Reproductions or enlargements of other artwork are not accepted.

Reflect on the 2021-2022 Theme: I Will Change the World By…

An explanation of the art form might be a useful addition to the artist statement. Whether an entry displays use of formal technique or a simple approach, it will be judged primarily on how well the student uses his or her artistic vision to portray the theme, originality and creativity.

Copyright: Use of copyrighted material, including any copyrighted cartoon characters or likeness thereof, is not acceptable in any visual arts submission, with the following exceptions:

  • Visual artwork may include public places, well-known products, trademarks or certain other copyrighted material as long as that copyrighted material is incidental to the subject matter of the piece and/or is a smaller element of a whole. The resulting work cannot try to establish an association between the student and the trademark/business/material, or influence the purchase/non-purchase of the trademarked good.
  • Visual arts collages may include portions of existing copyrighted works, such as photographs, magazine clippings, internet images and type cut out of a newspaper, as long as those portions of copyrighted works are used to create a completely new and different work of art.

 Submission Requirements:

  • Only new pieces of artwork inspired by the theme may be submitted.
  • Each entry must be the original work of one student only.
  • 2D artwork (e.g. painting)
    • Dimensions must not exceed 24×30 inches, including matting.
    • Paper entries must be mounted on sturdy material.
    • Include one digital image of artwork with your submission.
  • 3D artwork (e.g. sculpture)
    • Must include packaging materials and 3 photos of the entry (a combination of angles) for judging, ID and exhibition purposes (entries that require assembling/repairing from transporting will be disqualified).
  • Framed artwork and artwork containing loose materials is not accepted. Matting is accepted.
  • Label back of entry/entry packaging with student name, title of artwork, arts category and division.
  • Submit artwork and student entry form according to your PTA’s instructions.
  • Accepted file formats: JPEG, JPG, and PNG.

All participants must also follow Official Rules for Participation

SPECIAL ARTIST ELIGIBILITY. The National PTA Special Artist Division is an option for students with disabilities who receive services under IDEA or ADA: Section 504 to have the opportunity and accommodations they may need in order to participate fully in the program. The Special Artist Division offers modified rules and guidelines to ensure that every student has the chance to be part of the National PTA Reflections® program.

Who qualifies as a disabled individual under the law?  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines an individual with a disability as a person who: (1) Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of that person; (2) Has a record of such an impairment; or (3) Is regarded as having such impairment.

HOW TO ENTER. Students who identify as having a disability have two ways to enter the National PTA Reflections® Program. All students may enter in only one division. Student Entry Form requires parent/legal guardian signatures.

Option 1. Enter in Grade-Level Divisions: Regardless of age, students with special needs may enter in the grade division most closely aligned to their functional abilities. Students may not receive assistance other than that which is allowed for all children. The divisions are as follows: Primary (preschool – grade 2); Intermediate (grades 3-5); Middle School (grades 6-8); High School (grades 9-12). Students are recognized and awarded prizes as part of the general student population without regard to special needs or challenges.

Option 2. Enter in Special Artist Division: Eligible students entering the Special Artist Division create their own artwork, but may receive non-artistic accommodation and assistance from an adult. Students are recognized and awarded prizes as part of the Special Artist Division.

SPECIAL ARTIST GUIDELINES. Special artists should follow the general rules and guidelines outlined in the arts category student rules specific to their submissions, modified only by accommodations for individuals with disabilities. The accommodation, in general, should be both specific and limited to the student’s disability.

Allowable Accommodations: Given the diverse range of physical and mental disabilities that exist, it would be impossible to outline specific accommodations for each and every disability, but the following provides a non- exhaustive list of allowable accommodations:

  • The Special Artist Division will not be divided by age or traditional school grade level.
  • Use of adaptive technology is allowed.
  • All submissions must be solely created by the special artist. However, a parent, teacher or other adult may assist the special artist with typing, holding a camera, etc.

Accommodations that are Not Allowed: Individuals providing assistance to special artists may not, in any way, involve themselves in the actual artistic process by:

  • Personally selecting a title for artwork.
  • Writing, editing or interpreting a student’s artist statement, story, poetry or script.
  • Choreographing a dance, composing music or writing lyrics.
  • Drawing, painting or personally creating a visual arts submission, choosing a camera angle, etc.