2019 School Contest

Henri Matisse,  Icarus , 1946

Henri Matisse, Icarus, 1946

New York Encounter is sponsoring its fourth annual school contest open to students of Catholic schools in grades 1-8 in the Archdiocese of New York and Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee in celebration of the gift of education as the path to a more human discovery of reality. Students from other (Arch) Dioceses are welcome to enter through the website as well.

The Encounter’s school contest invites students to submit a drawing or essay responding to the contest question related to this year’s theme, Something to Start From.

Submission deadline: January 15, 2019.
Contest Theme: Something to Start From

Contest Question:

Describe an experience that made you feel looked at, listened to, understood, forgiven, and valued just because you exist. How did this change things?

A $1,000 scholarship for use at the winners’ Catholic school for the current school year will be awarded to the Grand Prize Winner of each of the two grade bands: Grades 1-5 and Grades 6-8. There will also be four runner ups recognized in each grade band. Student work will be displayed in an art gallery at the New York Encounter. The winners will be invited to receive recognition on the New York Encounter stage at Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street during the 3-day festival which will take place February 15-17, 2019.

The contest is sponsored by Benedictine College, Atchison, Kansas.

Please open the PDF document to view more details.

Something to Start From

We are at the end of an epoch and we feel the need to rediscover our identity and somehow start again. But, having abandoned traditions, challenged norms, and rejected authorities, we are left with nothing but ourselves to make sense of it all. With no blueprint, the present is full of unease and the future appears enigmatic.

We are uncertain of the meaning of our lives, and so often feel confused, alone and isolated. Our collective days are filled by the pressures of success and conformity, along with the fear of being left behind. Failure seems irredeemable, mercy impossible. So, we often look for scapegoats or ways to escape. But tribal belonging or artificial realities are poor substitutes for the certainties we have lost.

At the same time, this very unease reveals something in us. Something that feels the lack, aches for meaning, and recognizes the truth, like a tuning fork vibrating for its single, unmistakable note. Something that makes us long to be looked at, listened to, understood, forgiven, valued just because we exist. Something that perceives a promise even within these challenging times and urges us to respond, to say “Here I am!”, to seek justice, to build anew. An innermost, irreducible, decisive core marked by a stubborn expectation.

Has anyone ever promised us anything? Then WHY do we expect something?
— Cesare Pavese