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2018 CREATE 4 FREEDOM℠ Contest

THE MILL, in association with 4 Freedoms Festival, LLC, is proud to announce the CREATE 4 FREEDOM℠ contest, which challenges today’s high school students to examine the meaning of freedom in 2018.  

Each student must choose one of the 4 Freedoms (Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, or Freedom from Fear) and create a new work of art or poetry that expresses how and why that freedom is relevant in 2018.   All students should ask themselves, “Why is this freedom important to me?” and “How can I interpret this one freedom in words or image?”

This arts education initiative is a highlight of the 2018 4 FREEDOMS FESTIVAL℠, scheduled for July 2018.

The submitted works will be judged by a panel of artists and professionals.  Submissions may be humorous, satirical, or dramatic.  The works will be judged on their artistry, creativity, thoughtfulness, & intelligence.

Deadline 4 Entry:  4 pm EST on April 30, 2018

Timeline 4 the Contest:  

  • Finalists will be announced in May 2018.  
  • Winners will be announced in May 2018.  
  • An awards ceremony honoring the winners will be the centerpiece of the 4 FREEDOMS FESTIVAL℠ (July 2018).

Download Entry Forms ⟶

4 more information, email us at director@themillvt.com.

Contest Prizes

First Prize Winners of the CREATE 4 FREEDOM℠ Art & Poetry contests will have their entries published in the Summer 2018 edition of Stratton Magazine, receive the “Stand Up Proud Award” at a public ceremony during the 2018 4 FREEDOMS FESTIVAL℠, and a $500.00 cash prize.  

Finalists in the art contest will have their art on display and available for the public to admire throughout the 4 FREEDOMS FESTIVAL℠ (July 2018), and will receive a $50.00 cash prize.   

Finalists in the poetry contest will have excerpts from their work performed at a dramatic presentation to be produced at the 4 FREEDOMS FESTIVAL℠ (July 2018), and will receive a $50.00 cash prize.


In June 1941, Prime Minister Winston Churchill & President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued their Atlantic Charter, in which they described 4 essential human rights:  Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, & Freedom from Fear.

At home, in Arlington, Vermont, the legendary artist Norman Rockwell was inspired.  Rockwell was too old to enlist, but he wanted to make a statement in pictures why Americans were sending their boys to war.  His wife suggested he “paint the ideas, not the words.”  

One night, Rockwell attended an Arlington Town Meeting.  One of his neighbors (a very likeable farmer) stood up and spoke.  Everybody in the room disagreed with the man’s opinion, but no one interrupted.   After all, in America, everyone has the right to freedom of speech.  Norman was, once again, inspired!   He decided to illustrate “The Four Freedoms” in everyday American scenes, using his Vermont neighbors as his models. 

THE SATURDAY EVENING POST published “The Four Freedoms” – and long before the term was used - the images went “viral”.  The four paintings became iconic images.

By 1943, the U.S. Treasury was broke and the Allied Forces were struggling across the Atlantic.  Because of the images’ popularity, The Treasury Department asked Rockwell to go on tour with his original “Four Freedoms” paintings - and sell war bonds.  

At a time when the war was going against the Allies, those pictures raised $133 million dollars (The equivalent of $1.7 billion today!).  That influx of cash changed the course of the war – and history.  

And it all happened, because an Arlington farmer had the courage to stand up and proudly speak his mind at a town hall meeting. While Norman Rockwell’s 4 paintings remain legendary, the time is ripe for young artists and poets to personally interpret the essential meaning of these freedoms and how they impact our society today.

CREATE 4 FREEDOM℠ offers students the unique opportunity to test their own creativity and problem solving abilities.  It is no longer Prime Minister Winston Churchill, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt or Norman Rockwell’s task to inspire the world with these 4 FREEDOMS.  

Now we look to our youth.

BRIEF Overview of Rules 4 Entry***

  1. Students must be 9th, 10th, or 11th Graders during the 2017-2018 School Year.
  2. Each student may submit only one work - and in only one category (Art or Poetry)
  3. Each submission must be the original work signed by the artist/poet – and must be accompanied by a fully-completed Entry Form.
  4. Entries must be original works of art and not copies, derivatives, or based in any way on other copyrighted or published works.  Satire of a known work is acceptable, as long as the original work is not used directly in the new student work being submitted.
  5. All images submitted to THE ART CONTEST must be single-panel.  Submissions that are multi-panel (such as a comic strip or graphic novel) will be rejected.
  6. Acceptable Media for THE ART CONTEST: oil paint, acrylic paint, spray paint, watercolor, pencil, ink, crayon, charcoal, marker, paper, canvas, silkscreen, wood – or any combination of these. 
  7. Size restrictions for ART CONTEST submissions: All entries must be at least 8.5 inches by 11 inches, but no larger than 3 foot by 6 foot.
  8. All POETRY CONTEST submissions must be original works that are no more than 250 words in length.  Acceptable forms:  rhyme, haiku, or free verse. 

***View Complete Contest Rules ⟶