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Black history moments on canvas: Students competing for share of $5k in prizes and have work shown at art center

N'Namdi Center in Midtown

Come the end of February there will be a new exhibit at the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art in Midtown celebrating Black History Month. Detroit area McDonald’s have come up with an interesting way to celebrate the event by offering local high school students an opportunity to win cash and recognition through their art.

McDonald's Celebrates Black History Moments On Canvas“McDonald’s Celebrates Black History Moments on Canvas” encourages students to capture a great leader, significant moment or event in African-American, African or African Diasporan history through their original artwork.  They have a chance to win cash prizes as well as be part of a gallery exhibit at the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art.  The top 12 finalists will have their work exhibited at the gallery for two weeks.  Winners will be announced and the gallery exhibit unveiled on February 28 at the Center before a crowd of business and community leaders.

“Art has always served as a representation of the history of its time, and it is an important aspect in a student’s development,” said gallery owner George N’Namdi. “The students in the McDonald’s series will be documenting today’s history by expressing their impressions of black history. McDonald’s art contest lends itself not only to enhance creative thinking, but is also a tool that can be used to view and access the world.”

The winners will also receive cash prizes of a combined total of nearly $5,000.  The first place winner also gets the added bonus of the pride of bringing a cash prize to his or her teacher. The art will be judged by experts in both fields represented in the contest, art and history.

“Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month are a significant time of cultural celebration in the metro Detroit African-American community,” said McDonald’s restaurant owner Jon Campbell. “We want our customers and neighbors in the community to know that we recognize the hard work and accomplishments of people of African descent, and we’re doing it in a fun way for young people that uses art as a tool for expression and learning. We’re committed to providing opportunities that engage youth and promote the importance of education.”

N'Namdi Center in MidtownTo enter you don’t have to purchase a single thing … no Happy Meal, no chicken nuggets, no burger. You just have to be high school student living in Wayne, Oakland, Lapeer, Macomb, Livingston, St. Clair, Washtenaw, or Monroe counties, and pick up an entry form at a participating McDonalds in the area around the Motor City, or go to

All interested parties must either upload or send in a picture of their work by February 14.  That means uploaded or postmarked by Valentine’s Day.  After the works have been looked through, 50 semifinalists will be chosen to present their works to the gallery for a second round of judging by February 20.  From there the 12 finalists will be chosen.

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One comment on “Black history moments on canvas: Students competing for share of $5k in prizes and have work shown at art center

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