Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission Accepting Applications for Annual Essay and Poster Competitions and Nominations for Living the Dream Awards

November 07, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  Do you have a dream for yourself? Are you aware of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream for America? Could you express your dream in an essay or in a work of art?


If so, the Martin Luther King Jr. West Virginia Holiday Commission wants to hear from you. They are accepting applications for the 16th annual essay contest. Any student in grades one through 12 in a public, private or home school in West Virginia is encouraged to participate.

Students are asked to answer a question based on the following quote:  “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”


The question for grades 1-5 is:  Do you think the presidential election is changing how people think about Dr. King’s Dream?  For grades 6-12, the question is:  Given the historic ramifications of the presidential election do you think Dr. King’s dream of a just and equal America is being realized?  


All entries should be postmarked on or before Nov. 24, 2008, and mailed to: Diana Bell, YWCA Wheeling, 1100 Chapline St., Wheeling, WV  26003. Entries can also be e-mailed to or faxed to (304) 232-0513 by the deadline. Official rules and an entry form are available at or  Contact Diana Bell at (304) 232-0511 for more information on the essay contest.


The commission also is accepting applications for the 24th annual poster contest. Any student in grades one through 12 in a public, private or home school in West Virginia is encouraged to participate.


The theme for this year’s competition is “The Dream is Alive.” A quote from Dr. King is used as the guiding theme for each year’s competition. This year’s quotation is, “Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away, and that in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”


Entries may be in pencil, crayon, pen and ink, watercolor, acrylic, serigraph wood block, photography or mixed media and must be submitted by Dec. 15, 2008. Winning posters will be exhibited at the West Virginia Cultural Center in Charleston.

All entries should be mailed or delivered to: Martin Luther King Jr. Poster Contest, Attention Patricia Wilson, West Virginia State University, 616 Wallace Hall, Institute, WV 25112-1000. Official rules are available at For more information about the poster contest, please contact Patricia Wilson at (304) 768-3448 or by e-mail at


The commission also is seeking nominees for the annual Living the Dream Awards, which will be presented as part of the annual national Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday observance.  The public is invited to nominate candidates for the awards, which honor individuals or organizations for their commitment to the principles and ideals characterizing King in his pursuit of social change.


Letters of nomination must be less than two pages and give specific examples of why the nominee should be recognized. Nominations must include a biography.


Nomination forms are available and must be postmarked by Dec. 4, 2008. Send nominations and supporting information to: Living the Dream Awards, Martin Luther King Jr. West Virginia Holiday Commission, c/o West Virginia Division of Culture and History, The Cultural Center, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E, Charleston, 25305. For more information, call (304) 558-0220.

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