Virtual student arts competition launches for all Riverside County students

RIVERSIDE – Helping students channel their creativity during mandatory school closures due to COVID-19, the Riverside County Office of Education has launched a virtual student arts competition open to all students in transitional kindergarten through 12th grade in Riverside County.

“Despite the closure of schools, students in Riverside County are continuing to create, dream and express their ideas through their own unique talents and abilities,” Judy D. White, superintendent of schools for Riverside County, said. “Artistic expression is a healthy way for students to process their feelings, exercise their creative abilities and expand their understanding of a changing world. These expressions have the power to uplift others and bring meaning to their life and the lives of others during challenging times.”

The competition is open to all students in grades TK-12 attending public, charter, private, parochial or home-school programs in Riverside County. For each of the six weeks, students can submit their contributions at

Winners will be announced in each grade-level category approximately one week after the submission deadline for each week’s competition.

The first-place award is a $75 gift card from RCOE Foundation, plaque and certificate of participation. The second-place award is a $50 gift card from RCOE Foundation and certificate of participation. The third-place award is a $10 gift card from RCOE Foundation and certificate of participation.

Honorable mentions will receive a certificate of participation.

“The roster of distinguished judges looking to support student artists includes Riverside County artists, poets, choreographers, actors, writers, educators, filmmakers and musicians,” Louisa Higgins, arts administrator of Riverside County, said. “Judging criteria will include creativity/originality, connection to the weekly theme, artistic composition and overall impression.”

The “Art Connects” competition submission schedule lists a medium and a theme for each of the six weeks.

Week One, March 25-31, the medium was poetry and the theme was “Expressions of Change.” Week Two, April 1-7, the medium was visual arts and the theme was “Expressions of Possibility.” For Week Three, April 8-14, the medium is dance and the theme is “Expressions of Kindness.” Week Four, April 15-21, covers theater as the medium with the theme “Expressions of Persistence.” Week Five, April 22-28, the medium is media arts and the theme is “Expressions of Connections.” For the final week, Week Six, April 29 to May 5, the medium is music and the theme is “Expressions of Hope.”

Additional details on “Art Connects” are available at or by contacting Louisa Higgins at

Submitted by Riverside County Office of Education.

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