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Reflections Arts Program

National PTA Reflections Awards

Each year, students in Pre-K through Grade 12 are invited to create and submit original works of art in the areas of Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography and Visual Arts. Based on State PTA rules and guidelines, these works of art may be submitted for state and national level awards and recognition opportunities.


National Level Reflections Awards


State PTAs are able, but not required, to submit 30 entries in total to the national level for review - one entry per arts category, per division. Of the national-level submissions, over 200 student Reflections participants will receive the following awards from National PTA:

  • Merit Award: Bronze Medal; Certificate of Merit; Work featured in the virtual exhibition
  • Award of Excellence: $200 Young Artist Scholarship; Silver Medal; Certificate of Excellence; Work featured in the virtual exhibition
  • Outstanding Interpretation Award: $800 Young Artist Scholarship; Gold Medal; Certificate of Outstanding Interpretation; Work featured in the virtual exhibition; $200 Prize for Local PTA Unit

National PTA celebrates the national Reflections winners and their artwork starting May 1 through the following calendar year. We feature our Outstanding Interpretation winners during National PTA’s Convention in June and select featured artists at the Reflections Student Arts Showcase in January. 

National PTA will announce national-level winners from the 2023-2024 "I am Hopeful Because..." program cycle on May 1.

I Am Hopeful Because...

Questions? Please review your state PTA's Reflections webpage or contact your state PTA directly for questions about state-level awards or from other levels of competition (e.g., local, district, council).

Selection Criteria

Student entries submitted to the national level go through two rounds of review by arts professionals from across the country. During the evaluation process, judges will consider the following criteria:

  1. Interpretation: How closely the piece relates to the theme, based on the work itself and the artist statement. 
  2. Creativity: How creative and original the piece is in its conception of the theme and its presentation. 
  3. Technique: The level of skill demonstrated in the basic principles/techniques of the arts area.

In Reflections, judges strongly consider the artist's interpretation of the Reflections theme as shown in the student's original artwork, title and artist statement. To best represent their creativity and originality, artists should create

  • a title that stands out and describes how the piece relates to their personal interpretation of the theme
  • an artist statement that further describes their theme interpretation and explores the creative process and decisions they made when making their art.

Artists can consider the following when developing a title and artist statement

  • How does your work specifically relate to the theme?
  • Explore metaphors or allusions in your artwork to highlight complex or critical parts of your work.
  • What is your personal connection to the theme? What/who was your inspiration? How do these connections show up in your art?
  • Explain the creative decisions you made so your work would be unique to you and your interpretation of the theme.
  • What tools, materials and methods did you use to create your work (e.g., supplies, technology, instrumentation, props, etc.)? What made you choose those items? 

Arts Categories and Divisions

Students submit their completed works of art in one or all of the available arts categories: Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography, Visual Arts.

Students participate in the appropriate division for their grade: Primary (Pre-K - Grade 2); Intermediate (Grades 3-5); Middle School (Grades 6-8); High School (Grades 9-12); and Accessible Arts* (All grades welcome).

DanceFilmLiteratureMusicPhotographyVisual ArtsSpecial Education

*Students who identify as having a disability and may receive services under IDEA or ADA: Section 504 may enter in the Accessible Arts Division or grade division most closely aligned to their support needs.

Congratulations to the 2022-2023 Show Your Voice! Reflections Winners


National PTA received over 900 student entries from 44 state PTA congresses in all the available arts categories. Of those submissions, we are thrilled to award over 200 student artists on the national level.

Congratulations to all of the 2022-2023 National PTA Reflections winners and our 7 Outstanding Interpretation awardees, who received the highest honors for their creative interpretation of the theme Show Your Voice! Check out National PTA's official press release celebrating the top awardees and acknowledging all the 2022-2023 national Reflections winners. 

The 2022-2023 Reflections theme, Show Your Voice!, was submitted by Jason Yevin, from Salk/Macarthur PTSA in New York.

2022-2023 Reflections Winner List

2024 Virtual Reflections Student Arts Showcase

This celebration will recognized all national winners from the 2022-2023 "Show Your Voice" Reflections program and featured over 20 short interviews with select student artists—and a few special guests—discussing their award-winning artwork.  

Check out the event on National PTA’s YouTube Channel! Leave a comment to let us know your favorite artwork from the "Show Your Voice!" national awardees. 

2024 Virtual Showcase

Virtual Exhibit: 2022-2023 Show Your Voice! Awardees

Check out our virtual exhibit from the 2022-2023 National PTA Reflections program, Show Your Voice!

Music Composition 

Music Composition - National Awardees


Photography - National Awardees

Visual Arts 

Visual Art - National Awardees

Dance Choreography 

Dance Choreography - National Awardees

Film Production 

Film Production - National Awardees


Literature - National Awardees

2022-2023 National PTA Reflections Outstanding Interpretation Awardees

These seven students achieved the Award of Outstanding Interpretation, which is given to the student artworks that achieved the highest scores for interpretation of theme. Join us in congratulating: 

  • Alice Grieve: Visual Arts: "Paved the Way"
  • Juliet Auten: Music Composition: "Listen"      
  • Minka Van Berkel: Literature: "The Girl Who Was Loud Even Though She Didn't Speak" 
  • Nia McKnight: Dance Choreography: "Where Did the Night Go?"
  • Sarina Policastro: Film Production: "Amira's Letters"
  • Sebastian Tulin: Photography: "The Runner Triumphant"
  • Megan Lambert: Visual Arts-Special Artist Division: "Hear Me Roar"

Learn more about the Reflections 2022-2023 Outstanding Interpretation Winners

National PTA honored the top seven award winners and acknowledge all national winners during the 2022-2023 Outstanding Interpretation Winners Celebration, now available on National PTA’s YouTube channel. The celebration features student interviews and showcases each student's full piece.

You can also find more information about these talented student's and their award-winning Reflections artist statements through this featured blog post.

Previous National PTA Reflections Student Arts Celebrations

2022-2023 Show Your Voice! Reflections Program

The 2023 Virtual Outstanding Interpretation Reflections Winners Celebration honors the top seven national winners from the 2022-2023 Show Your Voice! Reflections program.

2021-2022 I Will Change the World By... Reflections Program

The 2022 Virtual Outstanding Interpretation Reflections Winners Celebration honors the top seven national winners from the 2021-2022 I Will Change the World By..Reflections program.

The 2023 Reflections Showcase featured a selection of artists and recognized all our national-level winning artists from the 2021-2022 National PTA Reflections program, I Will Change the World By...

2020-2021 I Matter Because... Reflections Program
The 2021 National PTA Convention awards program celebrates the Outstanding Interpretation Reflections winners for the 2020-2021 I Matter Because... Reflections program.

The 2022 Virtual Reflections Student Arts Showcase celebrates a selection of Reflections national winners from the 2020-2021 I Matter Because... program. National PTA is also proud to provide the 2022 Virtual Reflections Showcase in Spanish.

Annual Theme Search Contest

Help Inspire a Future Reflections Program

Every year, National PTA hosts our annual Reflections Theme Search Contest to select one student theme to inspire student artists as they participate in a future PTA Reflections program. The winning student will also receive a $100 award and national recognition. 

We’re looking for the most original theme ideas, so past themes and duplicate submissions will not be considered. Explore the past 50+ years of winning themes for reference and inspiration! Themes are selected two years in advance.   

How to Participate

Students can participate in the Reflections Theme Search Contest according to the process and guidelines outlined by their State PTA Reflections Program, which will include when and how to submit entries. National PTA only receives the top entries submitted by each state PTA.

Interested participants, parents or PTAs should reach out to their State PTA to learn how they can participate. You can use this resource map to find your state's Reflections webpages and get started!

Current and Upcoming Themes

2024-2025 Theme
Thanks to Paige Opaska from Barbara Bush Middle School PTA in Texas who submitted the 2024-2025 Reflections theme Accepting Imperfection. Read this blog spotlight to meet Paige and learn about her inspiration. 

2025-2026 Theme
Congratulations to the most recent winner of the Annual Theme Search Contest: Ben Morgan from Lewis and Clark Middle School PTSA in Idaho! Ben’s submission, I Belong! will be the 2025-2026 Reflections theme. Learn more about Ben and the inspiration behind the theme.

Annual Mary Lou Anderson Reflections Arts Enhancement Grant   


Congratulations to the 2023 Mary Lou Anderson Reflections Arts Enhancement Grantees:

  • Campbell Middle School PTSA from Smyrna, Georgia
  • Maple Intermediate PTA from North Olmsted, Ohio 

Interested in this funding opportunity? Learn more at!

Encourage and celebrate student participation in arts education.

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