The December 6th Project

An Essay and Visual Arts Contest for High School Students in Hartford

The December Sixth Committee, the City of Hartford Court of Common Council, BSL Educational Foundation and Congressman John Larson’s office seek to support creative energy among city youth, and encourage young students in disciplines (literacy, video/photography, fine arts, etc.) to exercise their original creative process on the subject of the 13th Amendment abolition of slavery and its effect on their community. 

On Indigenous People’s Weekend, October 7th- 10th, our winners took their trip to Washington, D.C. The photos below are pictures from their visit to the American American Museum.

“The trip was great. I loved being with the rest of the contest winners. Everything was planned perfectly, and it was a great weekend. My favorite part were the college tours to American University and Georgetown University. It was a wonderful way to spend the long weekend!”

-Bryana Wilson 

“I had an amazing time on the trip, I enjoyed going to Georgetown college and visiting the national monuments. I also loved being able to hanging out with everyone who went. Overall I had a 10:10 experience:)”

-Paeyton Hammond

Winners and chaperones photographed together at the Wilson-Gray YMCA Youth and Family Center in Hartford.

On February 27th, 2022 the winners were celebrated at an event at Hartford Public Library.

Participation & Eligibility:

The contest was open to all 7th-12th grade students who meet one of the below criteria

  • Any student residing in Hartford who attends any public, private, charter or magnet school, in or outside of Hartford. 
  • Any student attending a high school in the city of Hartford
  • Any student residing in Hartford who is home schooled. 

Youth Interested in participating had to submit a one page essay, poster, painting, photo, video, or poem elaborating on the following questions:

What does the passage of the 13th Amendment on December Sixth (the abolition of slavery) mean to you?

If you could, how would you carry out a December Sixth Project in your community so that others could commemorate this date? How would you give back to your community to express and/or bring people together around the issue of the abolition of slavery in the United States?

Congratulations to the winners!

  •  Apollo Coston- 1st Place Visual Arts, 10th grade
  • Paeyton Hammond- 2nd Place, Visual Arts, 11th grade
  • Gabrielle Powell- 1st Place, Written, 10th Grade
  • Bryana Wilson- 2nd Place, Written, 10th Grade  
  • More information regarding our winners and the winner ceremony can be found on the “Check out our winners and extended event program” link above

A Special Thanks….

Thank you to Josh Michtom, Tiana Hercules, Jennifer Perez Caraballo, and former city councilwomen Wildaliz Berudez. Also, thank you to the judges and speakers who participated in this year’s December 6th Project!


Each category (Written & Visual Arts)had a first and second-place winner. First Place Winners received a $500 Visa Gift Card.
Second Place Winners received a $300 Visa Gift Card.
In addition to the monetary prizes, winners also received a fully-paid trip to Washington D.C. to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture, where they will be allowed to bring one parent or guardian chaperone. This trip is taking place on Indigenous People’s Day Weekend.

Supported by:
Hartford City Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudez
Hartford City Councilman Josh Michtom

U.S. Congressman John Larson
Hartford Public Schools
Hartford Federation of Teachers
Beta Sigma Lambda Educational Foundation

Questions? Feel free to reach out to us at

National Museum of African American History and Culture – Washington D.C.