Congresswoman Martha Roby

Representing the 2nd District of Alabama

Encouraging the Second District’s Creative Youth

November 15, 2019
Representative Roby's Weekly Column

Each year, the U.S. House of Representatives sponsors an art competition that is open to high school students across the nation. The Congressional Art Competition is a unique opportunity to recognize the artistic talents of students from all over the country, including those in Alabama’s Second Congressional District. The winning artwork is displayed in the U.S. Capitol building for one year, and the exhibit includes the winning artwork from all participating congressional districts. High school students have been participating in this annual creative competition since 1982.

My office partners with a local Alabama museum each year in order to professionally judge and select a winner to represent the Second District. This year, our partnering museum is the Wiregrass Museum of Art (WMA). The WMA holds the 2020 Youth Art Month every year to celebrate student artists throughout the Wiregrass area. Students of all ages are given the opportunity to have their artwork displayed at this local museum in order to highlight the value of art and art education. Although the 2020 Youth Art Month is a separate contest, artwork submitted will automatically be considered for the Congressional Art Competition if it meets the established criteria.

On November 7, I was proud to introduce the Artistic Recognition for Talented Students (ARTS) Act alongside Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). The ARTS Act directs the Register of Copyrights to waive the copyright registration fee for winners of the Congressional Art Competition. This piece of legislation encourages young artists to participate in the copyright system and helps them to learn the benefits of copyrighting their works. We have an abundance of brilliant, young creators across the country who are the rising generation of America’s creative industry, and the ARTS Act is a great way to incentivize copyright registration within our youth. 

Although the deadline for the Congressional Art Competition is in January 2020, I want to provide students with ample time to create and submit their artwork. I recently sent out a letter to all 117 high schools in the Second Congressional District, drawing attention to the competition for those who might be interested in participating. The letter outlines the concept and rules of the competition in order to ensure students and teachers fully understand the guidelines.

I highly encourage any student who wants to express their creativity to participate in this encouraging competition. It is a wonderful opportunity for students to showcase their talents and take part in an exciting nationwide contest. For students or teachers who would like more information on the competition, please visit my website. My office will also continue to release updates on the competition as the deadline for entry approaches. I am proud of the artistic abilities and talents of our students in Alabama’s Second Congressional District. 

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