Main Content

The White House is an enduring symbol of the United States. More than just a home for the president, this celebrated building has been shaped by countless people including first families, enslaved workers, innovative staff, and the American public. When First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy founded the White House Historical Association in 1961, she did so to protect, preserve, and provide public access to the White House as beacon of democracy and the American story.

To honor the vision of Mrs. Kennedy and celebrate the Association’s 60th anniversary, WHHA is sponsoring a student art competition with the theme “The White House: An American Story,” seeking submissions from students across the nation that depict and reflect the White House, its collection, and its diverse history.

The competition is open for submissions from February 1, 2021 to May 21, 2021 and will have three grade-level categories: grades K through 3, grades 4 through 8, and grades 9 through 12. First place, second place, and third place cash prizes will be awarded for each grade level category. A panel of three judges will evaluate the submissions and winners will be announced in July 2021 as part of the White House Historical Association’s annual celebration of Mrs. Kennedy’s birthday.

Please carefully read the below Frequently Asked Questions section before making a submission.

Who is eligible to submit artwork for the competition?

The competition is open to all students in Grades K through 12. There are three categories of competition: Grades K-3, Grades 4-8, and Grades 9-12. The contest is open to all students residing in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and U.S. citizens attending schools overseas.

When is the competition open, and when does it close?

The competition opens on February 1, 2021 and closes at 11:59 PM ET on May 21, 2021.

What type of art can be submitted for the competition?

Submissions must be two-dimensional. There are no size restrictions of the original art, however there is a 10MB limit on submission file size. Acceptable mediums include paintings, drawings, collages, prints, mixed media, original photography, and computer-generated art. Each student may submit one entry. Each entry will include one digital image of the artwork and a statement of up to 500 characters about the inspiration of the artwork and how it represents the White House and its history. Submissions must depict individuals, objects, interior locations, architecture, design, artwork, and events related to the White House, its collection, and diverse history.

I am a teacher and I would like to submit student work. Is this possible?

Yes, there are two submission forms: “student submitting own work”, and “teacher submitting student work.” Please use the “teacher submitting student work” form and submit a separate form for each student. If you are submitting art for five or more students, please email artcomp@whha.org for alternate arrangements to streamline your submission process.

Are there prizes for the winning submissions?

Yes, each grade level category (K-3, 4-8, 9-12) will have first place, second place, and third place prize winners, receiving $1000, $500, and $250 prizes, respectively.

What is the judging criteria for the submissions? Who are the panel judges?

Submissions will be evaluated on four criteria: 1) Creativity and Originality 2) Presentation 3) Interpretation of Theme 4) Historical Relevancy. Each category is weighted equally. Learn more about the panel judges here.

If your question has not been answered above or you seek additional clarification, please email artcomp@whha.org with your inquiry.