Upstanders Design Challenge

Deadline for submissions: Friday, Feb 7, 2020

ADMISSION: Open to all students K–12 in formal and informal educational settings. Group entries are permitted.

The Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) is pleased to announce the third annual Bay Area Student Design Challenge. This year's theme is Upstanders.

In all its many forms, art has the power to open eyes and minds. As prominent Jewish scholar Rabbi Hillel used to say, “If I am not for myself who will be for me? Yet, if I am for myself only, what am I? And if not now, when?” (Pirkei Avot 1:14). These teachings call on us to be upstanders—to speak up in defense of the vulnerable and to intervene when we witness injustice, violence, or bullying. The 2020 Upstander Design Challenge seeks original works of art dealing with the themes of justice and being an upstander. 

Students will be celebrated at The CJM Family ArtBash on Sunday, Feb 23, 2020 and select submissions will be displayed throughout the Bay Area.

Entries of visual art, poetry, theater, dance, or other forms of creative expression are welcome.

important dates

DEADLINE for Submissions

Friday, Feb 7, 2020


Sunday, Feb 23, 2020 | 10am–3pm


1. For each student submission, send an individual email to cjmdesignchallenge@gmail.com Friday, Feb 7, 2020 with the following:

Subject Line: Student first and last name

Attachment: File attachment (photo or video) of student artwork

Body of Email: 

  • Student First Name, Student Last Name
  • School Name, Grade
  • Student Description of their artwork (up to 100 words max)

2. Provide parents of students with downloadable permission form. Teachers may include the following language in an email to parents, along with the form:

Dear Parents,

As a class, we are participating in The Contemporary Jewish Museum's (CJM) Upstanders Design Challenge. Students from across the Bay Area are invited to submit original works of art.  Photos of all work will be on display at a free family festival at The Museum on February 23, 2020 from 10AM–3PM. Please sign the permission form linked below for the inclusion of your child's artwork in the display at The CJM. All student entries must have a signed parent permission form sent to The CJM by Feb 7, 2020 in order to be considered for Design Challenge.

Please Note

  • Physical works of art must be easily transportable and no larger than 18” x 18” x 18”. All artworks must be original.
  • All student entries must have a signed parent permission form sent to The CJM by Feb 7, 2020 in order to be considered for Upstanders Design Challenge.
  • If teacher, student, or parent prefers for us not to share the student’s last name, please advise and we will honor the request.
  • If a student would like to submit their work directly, outside of a class structure, please have the parent complete the Teacher Entry Form, in addition to the Parent Permission Form.

School and Teacher Programs are made possible by major support from The Hearst Foundations and the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation. Generous support is provided by Alaska Airlines ,The Bavar Family Foundation, California Arts Council, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, and Toole Family Charitable Foundation.