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City of Hartford Marketing, Events & Cultural Affairs Division (MECA) Announces 2nd Annual Creative Youth Essay Award

(February 6, 2014) The City of Hartford, Marketing, Events & Cultural Affairs Division (MECA) announces the 2nd Annual “Creative Youth Essay Award,” which supports creative energy among city youth by encouraging Hartford students Grades 7-12 to submit original essays exploring art, culture, and their impact in the community.


Participants will submit a one-page essay elaborating on the following questions:

  • How does art make a difference in your life?
  • Describe at least one example of art you see in Hartford.
  • Describe the art form that is most special to you.
  • If you could, how would you give back to the community and impact others through art?

Judging Criteria:

Entries will be evaluated on the basis of content and creativity.  Please note that each of the above questions must be answered.  

Categories and Awards:

  • Grades: 7th – 8th (1st place - $100, 2nd place - $75, 3rd place - $50)
  • Grades: 9th – 10th  (1st place - $100, 2nd place - $75, 3rd place - $50)
  • Grades: 11th – 12th (1st place - $100, 2nd place - $75, 3rd place - $50)
  • All participating students will be acknowledged with a certificate


  • Open to all Hartford residents currently enrolled in Grades 7 through 12.
  • Hartford residents at public, private, or magnet schools outside Hartford are eligible.
  • Non-residents who attend a Hartford-based school are also eligible


  • All entries must be typed on standard 8 1/2” X 11” paper. 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 and name of the school as the file name. Example: Thomas Hartford Academy of the Arts
  • 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.
  • Essays should be a minimum of 300 words and should not exceed 800 words.
  • Essay must be the entrant’s original work.   
  • Essays that have won other contests or that have appeared in any print or online publications are not eligible.


  • Two MECA staff members
  • One Commission on Cultural Affairs member
  • One member of a Hartford arts organization


  • Applications Release Date: February 6, 2014
  • Deadline: Monday, March 10, 2014, 5:00 P.M.
  • Winners Announced: Friday, April 11, 2014

To apply:

Please contact Andres Chaparro.  Interested applicants may request an application to be emailed or mailed.

c/o Andres Chaparro
City of Hartford
Department of Development Services, MECA Division
250 Constitution Plaza– 4th floor
Hartford, CT 06103
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MECA will hold a reception for the winners on Friday, April 25, 2014, at Hartford City Hall, 550 Main St. Pizza and refreshments will be served, and all participants and family members are invited to attend.


For Immediate Release: February 6, 2014
Contact: Andres Chaparro
p. 860-757-4895
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HARTFORD CITY HALL ADDRESS: 550 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103 PHONE: (860)757-9311 HOURS: 8AM - 5PM