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. 

Our panel of judges is currently evaluating entries and winners are expected to be announced by late January 2022.

Participation & Eligibility:

The contest is 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 will have 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?


  •  All entries were to submitted by no later than midnight on December 6th, 2021
  • All entries must be submitted through email, sent to
  • All written entries must be typed on standard size paper 8 ½”X11” (entries submitted on smaller or larger paper than specified size will be eliminated. If emailing your essay- please save it as a Microsoft word document with your last name as the file name. 
  • Essays should not exceed 1,000 words. 
  • For photos, all entries must be 8”x10” at 300 DPI Resolution. 
  • For drawing, entries can begin at 8”½” X11.
  • All entries must have complete information at the top of the paper: (student’s name, complete home mailing address, school, teacher’s name, grade, and age).
  • All entries must be the entrant’s original work. Entries that have won other contests or that have appeared in any print or online publications are not eligible.

Judging Criteria:

Entries will be evaluated on the basis of content and creativity. Please note that each of the questions must be answered. A panel of judges composed of City Councilors, Council Aides, teachers, college students, social workers and artists has been established as the Committee that will judge the entries.


Each category (Written & Visual Arts) will have a first and second-place winner. First Place Winners will receive a $500 Visa Gift Card.
Second Place Winners will receive a $300 Visa Gift Card.
In addition to the monetary prizes, winners will also receive 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.

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.