Handing the Torch to the Next Generation


“Visionary!”—Donna Lowry, WXIA-TV

Arts Education is critical to engaging the next generation in a conversation with the past that facilitates progress.

In collaboration with public school systems and museums in the ten participating cities, The Dream Art Contest was organized in three categories: Elementary, Middle, and High school students.

The judges consisted of local art professionals, and the winners were announced in award ceremonies hosted by our museum partners, with the winning artwork featured on billboards (donated by CBS Outdoor) and public buses, and in airports, public libraries, and museums.

For additional information visit the Dream Art Contest.


  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • High Museum of Art Atlanta
  • Boston Museum of Fine Arts
  • DuSable Museum
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
  • MOCA
  • Brooks Museum
  • Walker Art Center
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • San Francisco Museum


  • Ian Alteveer, Curator, Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Carol Becker, Dean of the School of the Arts, Columbia University
  • Klaus Biesenbach, Director, MoMA PS1
  • Glenn Ligon, Artist
  • Soledad O’Brien, Anchor, Starting Point, CNN
  • Lee Rosenbaum, CultureGrrl Arts Journal
  • Roberta Smith, Chief Art Critic, New York Times


The Legacy Essay Contest was designed to inspire high school juniors and seniors to look at their own lives and times in the context of the values and goals of the Civil Rights Movement.

The Civil Rights Movement believed that a fully integrated pluralistic society is essential for democracy to function properly. The mission of the Legacy Essay Contest was to foster discussion between the students and their teachers, parents, and peers that can help make the dream of the Civil Rights Movement more of a reality.

The Legacy Essay Contest was the largest essay contest of its kind with an outreach campaign to over 5 million educators.

The Legacy Essay Contest was a joint enterprise of Karz Productions with the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, ASCD, the National Council for the Social Studies, and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. The essay contest was cohosted by The National Gallery of Writing.


  • Muhammad Ali, three-time World Heavyweight Champion
  • India.Arie, singer/songwriter
  • Peggy Cooper Cafritz, founder of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts
  • Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Dorothy Height, Chair and President Emerita of the National Council of Negro Women
  • Bob Herbert, columnist for the New York Times
  • Chip Insinger, educator
  • Rep. John Lewis, Democrat from Georgia
  • Alma Powell, Board Chair of America’s Promise Alliance
  • Deborah Roberts, ABC News correspondent
  • Beverly Daniel Tatum, President of Spelman College

The U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, joined Richard Karz and Dr. Else L. Scott, President of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, for the awards presentation at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C.

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