EQUITY: 2021 Student Art Exhibition

The Chesapeake Public Schools Equity Council is proud to announce a student visual arts contest and exhibition. The Equity Council is seeking artwork that is powerful, thought-provoking, and inspired by the theme: Lift Every Voice.  Students from all grade levels and artistic abilities are eligible and encouraged to show their creativity and their talent.

This student visual arts exhibition is the first of many events and opportunities planned by the newly formed CPS Equity Council. In May 2020, in response to the George Floyd tragedy, our superintendent launched the “Speak Up” initiative to gather feedback and input from the community regarding racial justice and equity. To further build on the division’s previous efforts, Dr. Cotton shared his vision for a new Equity Council that would endeavor to deepen the division’s focus on this important work. In June 2020, Dr. Anita James developed the Equity Council with this focus in mind: to share immediate actions and to schedule time to discuss long term actions connected to initiatives that are already in place. Above all, the Equity Council is committed to strategically eliminating systemic and cultural biases through consistent opportunities for new understanding and self-reflection for our community. 

Student submissions for the exhibition are welcome throughout the month of February. February is Black History Month, which played a part in determining the theme for the exhibition. The theme, Lift Every Voice, was inspired by a poem by James Weldon Johnson. The poem, Lift Every Voice and Sing, was later set to music by the poet’s brother, John Rosamond Johnson. Today, the song is often regarded as “The Black National Anthem”.

Students must submit their artwork virtually by Friday, February 26, 2021. Submitted artwork will be organized into a virtual art gallery and selected original works will be on display in public venues throughout the district. Select student artists will also be recognized at the March 22 School Board Meeting and celebrated in the Superintendent’s Spotlight. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Michael Dunbar.