Art contest invites students to study, share Catholic social teaching

Creating on the Margins contest promotion showing illustrations of young artists

The national Creating on the Margins youth arts contest is getting underway! Sponsored by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, this program is a unique educational experience providing young Catholics an opportunity to learn:

  • about the reality of poverty in the United States
  • how the Church is helping low-income persons address the causes of poverty in their communities
  • how our faith calls us to support these efforts through both charitable works and efforts for social justice

The contest is open to students in grades 7-12. This year’s theme is Rebuilding Together at the Margins: “As we seek to rebuild together after COVID-19, listening to the voices of those on the margins can lead to new models to overcome disparity.”

Focusing on this theme, student artists can find information about how to participate in the contest on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website. The materials lead youth through a process of learning about poverty, social action, and Catholic social teaching. Young people then create artwork in any form (such as slideshows, essays, poetry, websites, painting, drawing, song, drama, etc.) to submit as an entry, along with an essay about what they’ve learned.

Contestants need to send entries to Maggie Walsh at Catholic Charities West Michigan (40 Jefferson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503) no later than March 1, 2021. A local winner will be selected for each age group (grades 7-9 and grades 10-12). The winning entries will be forwarded to the CCHD national office for judging in the national contest. The national CCHD office will then select a national grand prize winner, who will receive $500 plus a matching grant of $500 for a CCHD-funded group of the winner’s choice.

For more information, contact Maggie Walsh at or 616-340-1824.

General Inquiry

Fill out this form, and a Catholic school admissions expert will guide you the rest of the way!

Age group (check all that apply)