Max May & Lydia May Memorial Holocaust Art & Writing Contest

This year’s theme: Reflections on the Holocaust

How Holocaust study can help us reduce bullying, prejudice, and hatred

In 2021, we will commemorate the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration and death camps in Europe. Millions of people died, and thousands of survivors were left to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. Many survivors went on to have productive, fulfilling lives, serving as a source of inspiration and hope for countless generations that horrific tragedy can be overcome. Perhaps you know of someone who has faced hatred, prejudice, or bullying. Use art or writing to express your feelings about the situation.  

The Max May and Lydia May Holocaust Art and Writing Contest is named after the grandparents of Renate Frydman, Director of the Dayton Holocaust Resource Center. Each year, students in grades 5–8 (Division I) and 9–12 (Division II), attending public school, parochial school, or are home schooled within the Miami Valley are invited to learn more about the Holocaust and share their reflections through artistic expression, and creative writing.

What can students submit?

In order to qualify, all submissions must incorporate the current year’s theme. Students are encouraged to not just explore the history and aftermath of the Holocaust, but to also engage artistically with this year’s specific focus. Student art and writing submissions must be the independent effort of the student. All submissions will be judged on originality and relevance to the theme. 

Examples of art accepted are drawing, painting, photography, print making, three-dimensional sculpture, and mixed media. Three-dimensional art submissions should be no larger than 3ftx3ft and weigh no more than
5-10lbs. Two-dimensional or digitally created art may be larger, however, it must be securely matted to heavy weight matte board or foam core. All in-person art submissions must have a typed label securely attached to the back or bottom of the piece with the following information: title of piece, student name, art medium, school, grade, teacher, student email, teacher email. If a writing explanation accompanies an art piece, it must be in a plastic sleeve or other protective framing attached to the entry form and clearly labeled with the art piece information. For safety and ease of transport, please do not use any sharp objects or pointed edges in the art piece.

Types of writing accepted are fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Poetry and prose submissions will be judged separately from fiction and non-fiction submissions. Each entry should not exceed 2,000 words, must be typed and double spaced. 

Due to the pandemic, we made the decision to adapt our normal, in person contest to a digital format. Normally the art and writing would be displayed for friends and family to view before and after our annual Hashoah Remembrance program. In 2021, our program will be held virtually with a recorded broadcast for the art and writing on Monday, April 19. 

How to Submit

Digital Submissions – Art and Writing
Writing submission – writing must be formatted in either Word or PDF and emailed to Jodi Phares (jphares@jfgd.net) with the following information included in the body of the email: Title of piece, student name, school, grade, teacher, student email and teacher email.

Art submission – Digital images of the art piece in jpeg or pdf format must be emailed to Jodi Phares (jphares@jfgd.net) and should include all angles of the piece with the following information included in the body of the email: Title of piece, student name, school, grade, teacher, student email and teacher email.

In-Person Art Submission
(additional option for Art Display)
While we cannot know what our social interactions will be like in 2021, we still wish to accept in-person submissions of art pieces (in addition to the digital picture submission) in the hopes that they can be displayed for the community to view and appreciate. For those who wish to submit their actual art piece please contact Melinda Doner at melinda.doner@gmail.com to arrange pick up of the art piece. A word processed entry form must accompany the art piece. Teachers must provide a master submission list of student name, title of piece, grade and school.

Submission Deadline
All Art and Writing Submissions must be received, either digitally and/or in person by Friday, March 19, 2021. If you digitally submit an image of your artwork, you must still submit your art work in person for presentation following the guidelines listed above. All contest winners and their teachers will be notified by email. All students, teachers and family members are invited to attend the virtual Yom Hashoah program on Sunday, April 11, 2021.



2021 Entry Form

Committee Members

Melinda Doner, Dave London, Beth Manor, Tom Martin, Rosemarie Meyer, Bridget Newbury, Pat Riley, Challon Roberts, Steve Shively
Chair: Renate Frydman

Staff: Jodi Phares

The Holocaust Education Committee meets annually to discuss Holocaust education matters for Dayton and the Greater Miami Valley. The Holocaust Education Committee promotes the study of the Holocaust by sponsoring conferences, teacher workshops and speakers. For more information please contact Jodi Phares, Project Manager for the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton, at jphares@jfgd.net or (937) 610-5513.

2019 Writing Winners

Please click the buttons below to read writing submissions from our 2019 winners.

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