2This post originally appeared on the Mattress Factory Blog.

Have you read the MF Blog interviews with “Circus + Activism” workshop leader Ben Sota? The class is an amazing opportunity for students ages 14-18 who are interested in learning all about performance art and activism, or might be building their portfolios. We are now celebrating this one-time-only workshop with a Scholarship Giveaway!

This class, offered July 21 to August 8, will look at how site-specific performance and activism intersects with installation art. Students will study circus, physical theater, clowning without borders, circus activism and have a real-life theater experience by performing at sites located within Pittsburgh’s Northside community. The class will be inspired by artists exhibiting at the Mattress Factory, and students will be given the opportunity to experience and participate in scenic design, sound design and costume design as they form their own socially minded circus.

From now until Friday, July 11 at 5 p.m. Mattress Factory Fans can enter to win a full scholarship to this one-of-a-kind workshop. Classes are held 1-4 p.m. July 21 to August 8. Email promotions@mattress.org with your name, age and email address, and a response to the question:
Why do you want to spend your summer at the Mattress Factory?

The winner will be randomly selected from amongst all eligible entries on Friday, July 11 and notified by Monday, July 13, 2014. You must provide full address contact information, along with a valid email address, to be eligible to win. To be eligible to win, you must be between 14-18 years of age and be able to provide your own transportation.

We Are Safe by Taylor Leong for Start.Write.Now

We Are Safe by Taylor Leong for Start.Write.Now

This summer, we encouraged you to Start.Write.Now! Invited to share your out-of-school bursts of creativity with us, many of you sent poems, short stories, paintings, drawings, and photographs. Check them out here in an album on our Facebook page! We hope that these samples of summer writing and artwork will inspire you to submit your own original efforts to the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Be sure to also see the creative tips, categories, artists, and writers we featured here this summer to help get you going, and visit our online Student Showcase to view past Award winners’ work.

As of 4:30 PM on October 21, we have received 4,057 Awards submissions. These entries came from makers and breakers in 48 states and 13 other locations including Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Egypt, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand! We counted 2,463 works of Art, 1,589 pieces of Writing, and many more entries for our Sponsored Awards – Future New, Duck TapeGedenk Award for Tolerance and Creativity & Citizenship.

Now it’s your turn! Click here to register for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards today and share your creative vision (or voice)!

Makers and Breakers Banner

Maker (n) – someone who creates art and writing; transforms old forms into new ones
Breaker (n) – someone who conveys a message; is rhythmic; takes something apart

We are excited to launch the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards with a very special call to action. We believe that the world needs both makers and breakers—those committed to expressing themselves creatively, who push the boundaries of expression, and challenge the rest of us to do the same.

We know you’ve got something on your mind. Maybe it’s a new mixed media piece you’ve been working on or a fresh idea on how to integrate art and design by building clay sets. Perhaps, you’ve just completed your first collection of poetry or a work that mixes disciplines. The Awards has 28 categories buzzing with possibility.

So show us what you’ve got! Learn more about our submission guidelines here and register on September 16! Deadlines vary by region.

Creativity and Citizenship Prompt

To propose the topic for the 2014 Creativity & Citizenship Award!

Each year three $1,000 scholarships are awarded to artists and writers who create art or writing exploring a specific topic. Last year we asked young artists and writers to think about the issue of Voting and Voting Rights (2013). Past prompts have included Bullying (2012), Social Change (2011), and Freedom of Expression (2010).

This year we want to know what issues are important to you! We are inviting students to propose ideas for the 2014 Creativity and Citizenship Awards topic. One idea will be selected as the prompt for next year’s contest!

To submit a topic, email slarner@scholastic.com by Friday, July 19th with your idea as well as a paragraph on why you feel that it is an important issue for young artists and writers to explore.

We’d also like you to use your creativity to develop a piece of art and writing that promotes your topic! Above is an example artwork (in the spirit of one of our most notable alumni, Andy Warhol) on the Voting Rights topic, created by our staff member Courtney Buckland.

We can’t wait to see what you come up with! We will feature some of our favorites in a future blog post and on our Tumblr page!

Listen To Your Art

Image via wrdbnr

This year, in honor of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ 90th  anniversary, we released a special, limited edition commemorative book, The Great Encouragement.

We wanted to provide our community with the chance to get their hands on a free copy, so we held a contest asking people why art and writing are important. Quite simply, we loved the responses we received! Below is the winning response, followed by a selection of some of the other outstanding answers (many are from Scholastic Award winners!). Get your own copy of The Great Encouragement here. Your contribution will ensure the continued growth and future of the Scholastic Awards, and encourage the work of creative teens everywhere!

Winning Entry
Well, because they are flowering fields of screaming and fighting. They burst in reflected fireworks I held on, I will not stop shouting into even blankness, and I will spirit through time for centuries coloring in this Earth with the pastels of truth. Oh, and it inks so much passion, defiance for happiness, and uncurtaining of our souls to the point where so many would rot without it. Yet, hey, what’s the big deal?
– Darcy Stack, Texas, Age 16 (2013 Gold Key and Silver Key winner for Poetry)
Read More

Let these words inspire you at the National Constitution Center!

Let these words inspire you at the National Constitution Center!

We the People: besides being the first words of the U.S. Constitution, this phrase is also the name of the most popular exhibit at Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center. Also known as The American National Tree, it boasts names and biographies of bold and forward-thinking female and fellow citizens of this great nation of ours.

The National Constitution Center, in partnership with Scholastic Inc. and the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers is pleased to present the 2013 M.R. Robinson National Constitution Center American National Tree Award.

If you earned a Gold Key in the 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and you’re going to be in 8th to 12th grade in September, here’s your chance to win a $1,000 scholarship and add a new leaf! Read More