RIVERSIDE – In an effort to help students channel their creativity during mandatory school closures due to COVID-19, the Riverside County Office of Education has launched a virtual student arts competition open to all students in transitional kindergarten through 12th grade in Riverside County.

“Despite the closure of schools, students in Riverside County are continuing to create, dream, and express their ideas through their own unique talents and abilities,” said Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Judy D. White. “Artistic expression is a healthy way for students to process their feelings, exercise their creative abilities, and expand their understanding of a changing world. These expressions have the power to uplift others and bring meaning to their life and the lives of others during challenging times.”

The arts competition is open to all students in grades TK-12 attending public, charter, private, parochial, or home school programs in Riverside County. For each of the six weeks, students can submit their contributions at www.rcoe.us/art-connects.

Winners will be announced in each grade level category approximately one week after the submission deadline for each week’s competition.

  • 1st place award: $75 gift card from RCOE Foundation, plaque, and certificate of participation
  • 2nd place award: $50 gift card from RCOE Foundation, and certificate of participation
  • 3rd place award: $10 gift card from RCOE Foundation, and certificate of participation
  • Honorable mention: Certificate of participation

“The roster of distinguished judges looking to support student artists includes Riverside County artists, poets, choreographers, actors, writers, educators, filmmakers, and musicians,” said Riverside County Arts Administrator, Louisa Higgins. “Judging criteria will include creativity/originality, connection to the weekly theme, artistic composition, and overall impression.”

Art Connects Competition and Submission Schedule

Week One (March 25-31):

  • Medium: Poetry
  • Theme: Expressions of Change

Week Two (April 1-7):

  • Medium: Visual Arts
  • Theme: Expressions of Possibility

Week Three (April 8-14):

  • Medium: Dance
  • Theme: Expressions of Kindness

Week Four (April 15-21):

  • Medium: Theater
  • Theme: Expressions of Persistence

Week Five (April 22-28):

  • Medium: Media Arts
  • Theme: Expressions of Connections

Week Six (April 29 – May 5):

  • Medium: Music
  • Theme: Expressions of Hope

Additional details on Art Connects are available at by clicking here or by contacting Louisa Higgins at lhiggins@rcoe.us.

Image Sources

  • Abstract: PIxaby