Ashland Center for Nonviolence to Hold Art and Essay Contests

Ashland Center for Nonviolence to Hold Art and Essay Contests

9/1/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – The Ashland Center for Nonviolence at Ashland University is sponsoring an art contest as well as an essay contest for students in Ashland and Richland counties.

The Art Contest is for grades K-8 in both counties, while the Essay Contest is for high school students in grades 9 through 12 in both counties. Both programs are open to homeschooled students as well as students who attend public and private schools. The deadline for entries for both contests is Dec. 4, 2015, and prizewinners for each will be recognized at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Community Celebration in AU’s Jack & Deb Miller Chapel on Monday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m.

“This is our second year of hosting these contests and we decided to do it again this year since last year’s contests were so successful,” said Dr. Craig Hovey, director of the Ashland Center for Nonviolence.

The Art Contest theme is “Living Together in Peace.”

“Art is a powerful way of sharing a student’s vision,” Hovey said. “Ashland and Richland county students from kindergarten to eighth grade are encouraged to think and create imaginatively, to offer a personal response to what ‘Living Together in Peace’ means to them.”

Hovey hopes that students will create paintings, drawings, collages or photographs that deal with how they envision families, schools, communities and other groups living together in peace. “What does it take for people to share their lives with one another in generosity, patience and kindness?” he asked. “What are the obstacles to living together in peace and what can be done about them? I think we can all benefit from thinking creatively about these things.”

Hovey said that some schools in the counties may be collecting entries and he said students should check with their teacher or principal. Otherwise, individual entries can be delivered to the Ashland Center for Nonviolence located in Room 116 Bixler Hall on the Ashland University campus. Entrants should consult the guidelines and fill out an entry form available online at

Artwork will be judged on how it best exemplifies one of three themes – Social Justice, Resolving Conflict and Promoting Peace. Entrants will be divided into three groups by grade – K through second grade, third grade through fifth grade, and sixth grade through eighth grade -- with a certificate and $60 prize given to first, second and third place winners in each group.

The Essay Contest is available for older students who are asked to write on the theme “Resolving Conflict in Today’s World.”

“Peace doesn’t mean avoiding conflict, but finding nonviolent ways of fostering understanding and cooperation,” Hovey said. “When conflicts arise between people—in families, in communities or between cultures and nations—it can be easy to assume that violence is the solution. Being committed to working toward peaceful solutions means getting inventive with alternatives.”

Hovey told those wanting to submit essays of around 1,000 words to briefly describe the conflict and then in the body of the essay suggest a nonviolent strategy that could be implemented to address the concerns, reduce the tensions and contribute to a peaceful solution of the conflict.

“Be specific about the steps you think would be necessary to make your idea work,” he said. “In your conclusion, explain how peacefully resolving local and regional conflicts can contribute to a more just and peaceful world.”

Essay guidelines and online submission instructions can be found at:

Essays will be judged based on clarity of focus, quality of analysis, originality, compelling and engaging voice, style and mechanics with emphasis on the content and creativity of the ideas expressed. A certificate and $75 prize will be awarded to the best essay in each grade.

Those with questions about either contest can contact the Center for Nonviolence at .
ACN reserves the right to reproduce any entry and the submitted entries may be picked up from the ACN office in Room 116 Bixler Hall after Jan. 20. Please call 419.289.5313 before coming to the office.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###


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