by Keri Mills, Young Adult Librarian
Manhattan Public Library (MPL) hosted and sponsored the 2015 Martin Luther King, Jr. Art and Writing Contest, which has been an important part of MLK Day events for over 15 years. The theme for this year’s contest was “Only Love Can Drive Out Hate,” which was taken from one of Dr. King’s most famous quotes: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” This year’s entries acknowledged the importance that each individual can play, no matter how young or old he or she may be, in promoting Dr. King’s message of nonviolence. They also understand the importance of Dr. King’s place in the world that still resonates throughout our society today. There was participation from kids of all ages, as well as adults in this year’s contest. We had entries from almost all of the area elementary schools, Eisenhower and Anthony middle schools, Manhattan High School, Manhattan Catholic Schools, Flint Hills Christian School, Riley County schools, Kansas State University, and homeschool students.
Submissions for the contest were accepted beginning in December through January 11th, with the judging taking place on January 12th. All entries were judged based on five criteria: originality, creativity, artistic quality or writing style, content, and relevance to the theme. Winners were chosen by a panel of volunteer judges from the community. A thanks goes out to this year’s judges for volunteering their time and effort! Writing Judges included: Beth Bailey from the Union Program Council at Kansas State University; Carol Russell, English Professor at Kansas State University; and Deborah Murray, English professor at Kansas State University. Art judges included: Marrin Robinson, art instructor at Kansas State University; and Karen Schmidt, retired USD 383 middle school art teacher.
Besides Manhattan Public Library, this year’s sponsors included the Gallery for Peace and Justice, Manhattan Library Association, and Manhattan Town Center. Best of show winners received $50 gift certificates from Varney’s or Claflin Books and Copies and $20 gift cards from Manhattan Town Center. First place winners from each of the five age categories received a $25 gift certificate from Varney’s or Claflin Books and Copies. All winners received a certificate of recognition from the MLK Art & Writing Contest Committee.
Award winners were recognized at the annual awards ceremony which took place during the community MLK celebration at Manhattan Town Center on Monday, January 19. Manhattan Mayor Wynn Butler presented the winners with their awards at the recognition ceremony. Here are the 2015 contest winners:
Best of Show: Usha Reddi’s first grade class from Ogden Elementary
K-2nd Grade: Ritodeep Roy, Lee Elementary
3rd-5th Grade: Micah Craine, Bluemont Elementary
6th-8th Grade: Kaden Vandorn, Flint Hills Christian School
Adult: Paulicia Williams
K-2nd Grade: Justin Orvis, Manhattan Catholic Schools
3rd-5th Grade: Sahana Datta and Ananya Pagadala, Marlatt and Amanda Arnold Elementary Schools
6th-8th Grade: Ann Hess, Flint Hills Christian School
9th-12th Grade: Ames Burton, Riley County Schools
Best of Show: Chase Rauch, Manhattan Catholic Schools
3rd-5th Grade: Halle Gaul, Frank V. Bergman Elementary
6th-8th Grade: Blaise Hayden, Manhattan Catholic Schools
9th-12th Grade: Elijah Irving, Flint Hills Christian School
Adult: Randy Jellison
3rd-5th Grade: Hannah Loub, Frank V. Bergman Elementary
6th-8th Grade: Abby Cronander, Manhattan Catholic Schools
9th-12th Grade: Amanda Dillon, Flint Hills Christian School
9th-12th Grade: Caleb Linville, Flint Hills Christian School
Congratulations to all of our winners, and thank you to all of the individuals and groups who participated in the contest. The winning entries will be on display at MPL in the atrium through the end of February. Be sure to stop by and take a look!