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The Youth Collaboration Award, sponsored by Western Michigan University, gives K-12 students a platform to exhibit their work for thousands of ArtPrize visitors (that’s you!) to view.

For the first time ever, ArtPrize Nine will feature 26 student-driven collaborative entries from schools across the state of Michigan. Schools and eligible education-based nonprofits serving K-12 youth were invited to participate by entering a collaborative piece, securing a venue and competing for the $5,000 cash prize. YOU will get to vote on the winner.

Schools from across the West Michigan area, and as far as Ann Arbor, will be participating in this inaugural youth competition at ArtPrize Nine.

“The Youth Collaboration Award allows students to share their artistic expressions while being a part of the energy and excitement of ArtPrize,” said Dr. Dawn Gaymer, associate provost of WMU Extended University Programs. “WMU is honored to have this opportunity to engage with ArtPrize and create an opportunity for those under 18 to participate in the annual event.”

"The College of Fine Arts is excited to be a co-sponsor of this award. It's fitting that the only college of fine arts in the state with a long history of educating arts teachers should be a part of creating this new award for students," said Daniel Guyette, Dean of the College of Fine Arts at WMU. "We are thrilled at the response so far.”

As the connections process closed for ArtPrize Nine, our education team was thrilled to see themes emerge. The Youth Collaboration Award entries touch on a multitude of important topics, from the environment to expressing compassion for others. There were no creative limits for entries. The only requirement: at least two of the students involved must be under the age of 18.

Visit all the Youth Collaboration Awards (listed below by theme), vote for your favorites (anyone 13+ can vote!), and help determine which student group will win the $5,000 prize.


Social Commentary

Community and Working Together

The Environment

Empathy and Hope


Images: "You Be You" by Hudsonville Public Schools. Photos by Celine Nienhouse.

By Becca Guyette on