The Art & Writing Contest is an opportunity for young people who have visited the Museum or studied the Holocaust in their classrooms to respond creatively to what they have learned.

This important outreach program is dedicated to the memory of the 1.5 million children who perished during the Holocaust. Cash prizes are awarded to the winners and winning submissions are displayed on the museum website.

Art & Writing Contest Official Rules

Use your creativity to express the difficult and inspiring lessons of the Holocaust.

Topics may include:

  • Acts of courage and heroism
  • Resistance and rescue
  • The consequences of indifference
  • Persecution, intolerance and injustice
  • Preserving humanity in situations of great adversity
  • History and lessons of the Holocaust


There will be two divisions for both the Art and Writing categories.

A student may submit only one entry in each category.

The art or writing must not have been previously submitted to any other contest.

Division 1 will include grades 6-8

Division 2 will include grades 9-12


Students may write a poem, newspaper article, story, play/dialogue or essay.

  • The entry must show evidence of thoughtful research, creativity and interpretation.
  • The entry may not exceed 1,000 words, must be typed and double-spaced.
  • The entry must be submitted as a PDF file with the name “[FULL NAME], [GRADE}, Writing Submission”
  • A panel of judges will evaluate the entry on content, originality, quality of expression and accuracy.


Students may create a sculpture, drawing, photograph, painting, poster, collage or five-minute video, and submit an image of the art (or YouTube link) for judgement.

  • The entry must represent the independent effort of the student.
  • The art entry may not exceed the dimensions of 20” x 20”.
  • The sculpture entry may not exceed 18” x 18” x 18”.
  • For safety reasons, art (painting or sculpture) may NOT include real barbed wire, jagged glass or plastic.
  • For tangible art submissions, the entry must be submitted as a JPG or PDF file with the name “[FULL NAME], [GRADE}, Art Submission for Judgement”
  • For tangible art submissions, a second image must be submitted to verify the size and original work. In this picture, please include a ruler next to the piece and a post-it with the artist’s name. See contest rules for an example. Please title the file “[FULL NAME], [GRADE], Art Submission for Verification.” CLICK HERE to see a sample submission.
  • For video art submissions, the entry must be a link to the video on YouTube.
  • A panel of judges will evaluate the entry for creativity, excellence and content.


  • First place winner in each category will receive $300 and a certificate.
  • Second place winner in each category will receive $200 and a certificate.
  • Third place winner in each category will receive $100 and a certificate.
  • Honorable mention winners in each category will receive $25 and a certificate.

Winners must provide their address in order to receive the prize money.

Winning entries will be displayed on the Holocaust Museum website.


  • Plagiarism.
  • A parent/guardian replies the student does not have permission to participate.
  • Entry does not adhere to guidelines as stated.
  • Entry is received after the 11:59 pm Monday, April 19, 2021 deadline.

All entries remain the property of the St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum. By your participation in the contest, you grant the Museum permission to publish the winning entries and names in brochures, flyers, online, other Museum publications and exhibitions. Photo reproductions of the winning entries may also be made available to the news media. For additional information, call (314) 442-3714. Entries must be submitted online no later than 11:59 pm on Monday, April 19, 2021.


2021 Art & Writing Contest Winners

VISUAL ARTS – Division 1, Middle School

First Place: $300
Noelle Fillingham 
Parkway South Middle
8th Grade
Teacher: Ms. Karen Silverman

Second Place: $200
Fighting Through
Drew Mathers
Selvidge Middle School
8th Grade
Teacher: Mr. Anthony DeCarli

Third Place: $100
The Unbearable Loss
Erica Zirkelbach 
St. Mary of Vernon (Indian Creek, Illinois)
8th Grade
Teacher: Ms. Mary Trentman

Honorable Mentions: $25

Maria Rottler 
Ste. Genevieve Middle School
8th Grade
Teacher: Ms. Rebecca Keim

Lost Lives
Kayla Young
Ste. Genevieve Middle School
8th Grade
Teacher: Ms. Rebecca Keim 


VISUAL ARTS – Division 2, High School

First Place: $300
Kurt Messerschmidt: The Importance of Faith During the Holocaust
Alexander Fan
Centennial High School (Bakersfield, CA) 
11th Grade
Teacher: Ms. Shanna Treanor 

Second Place: $200
Fear and Hope
Anish Aradhey 
Harrisonburg High School (Harrisonburg, VA) 
10th Grade
Teacher: Ms. Sarah Waldrop 

Third Place: $100
Anne Frank: A Letter from Amsterdam 
Angelina Shen
9th Grade
Teacher: Ms. Tanya Roth 

Honorable Mentions: $25
Hope in Hardships
Katelyn Montgomery
Glenwood High School (Chatham, IL) 
11th Grade
Teacher: Mr. Brent Duggins 

They All Suffered
Maya Chadwick 
Belleville East High School
10th Grade
Teacher: Mr. Daniel Boyt

WRITING – Division 1, Middle School

First Place: $300
Life After the Holocaust
Josephine Carollo 
Ste. Genevieve du Bois 
8th Grade
Teacher: Ms. Hannah Rettig 

Second Place: $200
A Girl
Estella Garritano 
Wildwood Middle School 
8th Grade
Teacher: Brooke Stromsdorfer 


WRITING – Division 2, High School

First Place: $300
Hope Makes You Free: Dita Kraus’s Story
Grace Hanvey 
Highland High School (Alhambra, IL) 
10th Grade
Teacher: Mr. Matthew Lewis

Second Place: $200
Until They Were No More
Carly Seal
9th Grade
Teacher: Ms. Katie Seal 

Special thanks to our contest judges:

Andrea Brownstein, Nancy Keyser, Richard Jackoway

Visual Arts
Jeff Hartz, Jeane Vogel, Lois Rubin

For more information, contact Dan Reich at 314-442-3714 or


Previous Year’s Winners

2018 | 20172016  |  2015  |  2014  |  2013

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