Skip to main content

Healthy Decision-Making Art Contest

Brightly colored background with abstract shapes with title Healthy Decision-Making Art Contest: Building Strong Communities
Blake Hasse and Abree Diaz pose with their winning contest entries

Calling all Middle and High School Artists

Do you dream of making a difference and sharing your artwork with the community?

Strengthening the Heartland is hosting the Healthy Decision-Making Art Contest, giving you the opportunity to share your art across the region. The winning entries will be printed as a poster to be displayed across the state.

Your creation can be an illustration, drawing, painting or one-dimensional artwork of your choice. We look forward to seeing your artistic creations.

Contest Details

Deadline: Feb. 16, 2024, at 4 p.m. CT

Prizes: The club, organization, or class that has the winner will receive this money towards STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) supplies. In addition, the individual winner (student, club member, etc.) will have the opportunity to have their art distributed widely as a postcard or bookmark.

2024 Prompt: Building Strong Communities
Community is essential to every person’s journey. For a community to thrive well into the future, each of us plays an important role in creating supportive communities where everyone is heard, valued and connected. For this year’s art contest prompt, we focus on building stronger communities. As you work, consider: What does community mean to you? What are the important elements that build, support and allow communities to overcome differences and difficulties? How can you specifically be a part of building a stronger community? Please create a work of art that depicts your thoughts or ideas surrounding this topic.

Requirements: The art will need to fit on an 8.5'' x 8.5'' sheet of paper and can be made 1- Dimensional, any medium is acceptable.

We are accepting the top 3 submissions from each junior and senior high school.

  • Each school will review and send in their “top 3” to be judged by a Strengthening the Heartland panel using the provided rubric.
  • We will have 3 winners from North Dakota and 3 from South Dakota.
  • By submitting your piece(s) of work you are giving Strengthening the Heartland permission to reproduce your work as a poster or bookmark to be distributed.
  • Teachers/leaders should keep original artwork submissions until contest winners are announced. Original artwork may be needed by Strengthening the Heartland.

Submission: Once a school has chosen its top 3 pieces, email a high-resolution image of the piece to SDSU Strengthening the Heartland email.

  • Subject Line: Healthy Decision-Making Art Contest Entry
  • Specific Dimension requirements: Minimum of 2550px x 2550px square
  • Include the following information: Artist Name, School, Teacher Name and Media/Software used for the artwork

Judging Criteria

CriteriaExcellent Quality (5 points)Good Quality (3 Points)Poor Quality (1 point)
  • Masterly Use of materials
  • Quality presentation
  • Adequate use of materials
  • Adequate presentation
  • Poor use of materials
  • Poor presentation
  • Applies higher order thinking and creative skills to relay complex ideas
  • Incorporates unique and pertinent design elements that make the piece stand out
  • Applies basic creative skills to relay ideas
  • Contains some unique or imaginative elements
  • Does not exhibit creative thinking skills
  • Contains some good, although not entirely original elements
Interpretation of Topic
  • Excellent interpretation and communication of the topic 
  • Adequate interpretation and communication of the topic 
  • Poor interpretation and communication of the topic 


Yes! By completing this project, you will be using your art skills to inform the public about healthy decision making.

That is ok! Traditional drawing doesn’t have to be your only option. You are welcome to use the computer or other mediums to create your poster.

You will receive an email from the Strengthening the Heartland program on March 20, 2024, detailing your next steps as a winner.

One entry per person.

Ready to Share Your Artwork?

About Strengthening the Heartland

Strengthening the Heartland (STH) developed through the collaborative efforts of faculty from South Dakota State University Extension and North Dakota State University Extension. With generous grant support from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the mission of STH is to invest in the wellness and prosperity of rural communities across the Dakotas.

Learn More about the Project

SDSU Extension, NDSU Extension, and 4-H Logos