Preserve Our Past Contest


Preserve Our Past Art & Essay Invitational

Since 1991, the annual Preserve Our Past Art and Essay Invitational celebrates National Historic Preservation Week and Arkansas Heritage Month. The contest teaches students about local and state history, and fosters an interest in preserving historic places. For 2019, winning entries will be exhibited at the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock during May. The contest is open to all Arkansas 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders. Submissions must relate to a historic Arkansas property that is 50 years old or older. Contest opens January 1, 2019, and submission deadline is April 1, 2019.




Should be original, and no longer than 500 words. Each essay should focus on a historic site somewhere in the state of Arkansas. Essays do not have to be a typical 5-paragraph enumeration or straight history of a property. Creativity and imagination is encouraged. However, the contest does not accept pieces that are pure fiction, or refer to a fictional property. If students are using sources in their work, it is customary to include a bibliography listing them. Yes, spelling and grammar do count. Students may enter essays via hard copy or email. 

Entry form and instructions for submitting your essay posted below.  


Art Work

Art pieces should be original. They must also focus on a historic site somewhere in the state of Arkansas. Art has slightly stricter guidelines:               

Pieces should be no larger or smaller than 11 X 14 inches in size.

Pieces should be on paper, no stretched canvas.

Pieces should be done in pen and ink, charcoal, colored pencil, acrylic paint, pastels, or any other medium that works on paper. 

No oil paints, please.

Collage or other approaches are permitted, so long as all parts are created by the student, and the whole art piece can be framed.

It must be possible to frame your art piece in a standard 11 X 14 frame.

Art pieces CANNOT be entered online.

Entry form and instructions for submitting your artwork posted below.


General Guidelines

The contest has two age categories: 5th/6th grade and 7th/8th grade. 

Students may enter the essay or art contests individually, or they may enter both contests for their age category.

Students who are home schooled or who are in any alternative educational arrangement are welcome to enter, so long as they fit into one of the age categories. The 5th/6th grade category corresponds roughly to ages 10-12. The 7th/8th grade category roughly corresponds to ages 13-14. Age is not the corresponding factor for eligibility, but students should compete against others who are doing work at generally the same level.

All students must be residents of the state of Arkansas.

All hard-copy work must be postmarked by April 1, 2019 to be considered.

All digital submissions must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on April 1, 2019 to be considered. 


Judging and Prizes

Entries are judged by a rotating board of AHPP staff members on creativity of execution, topic selection, accuracy, and general aesthetic factors. Prizes in each category include: All participating students will receive a certificate. First, second and third place winners receive a trophy and a certificate. Two honorable mentions in each category will receive a ribbon and a certificate. Winning artwork will also be framed and displayed at the Historic Arkansas Museum during the month of May, as well as published on the AHPP website.


Art and Essay Invitational, 2019 Form

* Required 

Art Essay
5th/6th 7th/8th

Deadline: April 1, 2018

Home Contact Informaton

School Contact Informaton

Art Instructions:

Send your 11 X 14 piece in a large envelope (please do not fold). On the back of your piece, please carefully write:

  • Your name
  • Your grade
  • Your school
  • The name of your piece
  • Your home address
  • Your phone number
  • Your e-mail or your guardian's e-mail
  • Fill out the entry form and send it with your piece.
  • Art CANNOT be entered online.
Essay Instructions

Type your essay, double-spaced, on 8 1/2 by 11 white paper. Please do not put your name anywhere on the front of the essay. Give your essay a title. Below the title, list the name and location of the historic site you wrote about. On the back of the essay, write:

  • Your name
  • Your grade
  • Your school
  • The title of your essay
  • Your home address
  • Your phone number
  • Your e-mail or your guardian's e-mail
  • Fill out the entry form and send it with your piece, or enter online!


Previous Winners    

2014 Winners

2015 Winners