"I was in love with Harlem before I got there" - Langston Hughes


The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned between the 1920s and 1930s. During this time, an outburst of creativity among African Americans occurred in every aspect of art. This movement became known as the “The New Negro Movement” and later coined “The Harlem Renaissance” named after a 1920 anthology by Alain Locke.

Notable visual artists during the Harlem Renaissance included Jacob Lawrence, Lois Mailou Jones, Aaron Douglas, Romare Bearden and Augusta Savage. Harlem, New York attracted a prosperous and stylish middle class which sprouted an artist center. African Americans were encouraged to celebrate their heritage. Many great musicians, writers, artist and great thinkers emerged during this time.

In honor of Black History Month, the Washington Wizards are excited to announce our Harlem Renaissance Art Challenge which offers local middle and high school students the opportunity to showcase their creativity!

The art contest is open to 7th through 12th grade students within a 75-mile radius of the Verizon Center.

Five (5) winners will be selected and invited to attend the Washington Wizards vs. Utah Jazz game on Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 5:00 PM.

Each winner will be recognized during halftime as well as showcase their original pieces on the main concourse.


To enter, please review the Washington Wizards Harlem Renaissance Black History Month Challenge Official Rules. Your entry must include...

  1. The Washington Wizards Harlem Renaissance Black History Month Challenge submission form
  2. An original piece of work that must be focused on one of the following themes
    • Imagine that you are an artist during the Harlem Renaissance and would like to learn more about the history and cultural changes that were occurring during this time frame. Create an original piece of work (a drawing, painting or mixed media piece) depicting life for African-Americans during the Harlem Renaissance.
    • Put your own spin on a piece of artwork from the Harlem Renaissance and describe what it means to you.
    • Create your own body of work that reflects the history and creativity of the Harlem Renaissance.

Artwork Submissions

Student must submit original, two-dimensional artwork. Each student may enter only one submission to this contest.

  • Student artwork must be original, created only by the student. Artwork may not be drawn from any existing artwork (photograph, advertisement, etc.) not created by the student.
  • Student artwork must measure 16” x 20” and be created using any two-dimensional medium including but not limited to:
    • Drawing (pencil, crayon, graphite, etc.)
    • Painting (pastel, watercolor, spray paint, oils, etc.)
    • Photography
  • The student must also submit an artist's statement describing their entry in 50 words or less on a 4" x 6" card.

Labeling Requirements: Each entry must have the entry form attached. A copy of the completed entry form must also be attached to the back of the artwork.

All entries must be received by the Washington Wizards no later than 5:00 PM ET on Tuesday, February 14, 2017. Postmarked entries will not be accepted. Winners will be notified on or before Monday, February 20, 2017, 6:00 PM ET and at that time, be given specific details and instructions for the in-game recognition and concourse display.

Winners will be invited to attend the Wizards vs. Jazz home game on Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 5:00 PM where they will be recognized at halftime as well as showcase their artwork on the main concourse. The winners may take their artwork with them after the conclusion of the Wizards game on Sunday, February 26, 2017. Any winning artwork that is not retrieved after the conclusion of the Wizards game on Sunday, February 26, 2017 and all other artwork submitted for the Washington Wizards Harlem Renaissance Black History Month Challenge becomes the property of the Washington Wizards and will not be returned to entrants.