The Holocaust: The Arts and Writing Competition
The horrors of the Holocaust inspire grief and consternation. But they also inspire a need to remember those who perished. And, for many local middle and high school students, they inspire the need to tell the stories, to put pen to paper… fingers to keyboard… copper wire to clay.
Each year the Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh provides an opportunity for middle school and high school students to explore the history of the Holocaust, research the facts and give form to their thoughts and feelings through a variety of mediums. The Center’s Holocaust Arts & Writing Competition, held each year at this time, engages hundreds of students – Jewish and non-Jewish – from public, private and parochial schools throughout the Greater Pittsburgh area.
Two levels – one for middle school students, the other for high school students – draw written entries in the form of poetry, short stories and research papers and art entries encompassing drawings, paintings, sculpture and mix media of all kinds. Even performance art is eligible.
Entries are judged on the basis of skill, originality and adherence to theme. Begun in 1985, the Arts and Writing Competition is underwritten by the Hal K. and Diane Waldman Fund of the Jewish Federation Foundation.
The Holocaust Center also sponsors a Seminar for middle and high school students at the University of Pittsburgh. This half-day Seminar encourages students to look at a different theme each year, with past themes ranging from Children in the Holocaust and the role of Righteous Gentiles, to the Diversity of Victim Groups and Resistance.
Begun in 1990 with the underwriting of the Surloff Family, in memory of Earl Surloff, the Seminar also gives students an opportunity to hear from local survivors about their childhoods in Europe, their experiences during World War II and the Holocaust, and their lives after the war ended.
Many local schools make the Holocaust Arts & Writing Competition part of their regular curricula, working with students to understand the issues related to the Holocaust, learn to do research and write pieces or create artwork that it innovative, compelling and a demonstration of their newfound knowledge.
However, students can enter the competition independent of their schools. For further information, please contact:
Samantha Chilton, Senior Associate