Students K-12 can enter Black History Month art contest | Entertainment/Life

The New Orleans Public Library’s annual Black History Month Art Contest is back, and submissions are being accepted through the end of February.

Every year, the library encourages Orleans Parish students in grades K-12 to celebrate Black history through art and creative expression. This year’s contest theme is African Americans and the Arts, celebrating the influence on music and culture, visual art, film, dance and more.

“The arts” is a broad category, and participants are welcome to interpret this theme in a way that is meaningful to them. All entrants will receive a free book and first-place winners in each grade category will receive a gift card. First- through third-place winners in each grade category receive a printed poster of their winning artwork.

Visit for more information and for directions on how to submit your art.

Work space and supplies: Children ages 6 to 12 are invited to work on their contest entries during the library’s Black History Month Art Contest Hour programs, hosted at multiple library locations this month:

  • East New Orleans Regional Library, 5641 Read Blvd., Feb. 14, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library, 1611 Fats Domino Ave., Feb. 15, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Nora Navra Library, 1902 St. Bernard Ave., Feb . 15, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Art supplies and inspirational materials will be provided.

Book recommendations: For Black History Month book recommendations, streaming playlists, programs, and more, visit or visit any library location.

AUTHOR TALK: In an online talk presented by the New Orleans Public Library, New York Times bestselling author Jason Mott discusses his new novel, “Hell of a Book.” It takes place on Zoom Feb. 20 at 3 p.m.

Though fiction, Mott’s book has been called an honest look, at times funny, that goes to the heart of racism, police violence and the hidden costs exacted upon Black Americans.

In “Hell of a Book,” a Black author sets out on a cross-country publicity tour to promote his novel. That storyline interweaves with the story of Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author.

This heartbreaking and magical book is at once about family, art, money, the nation’s reckoning with a tragic police shooting, and what it can mean to be Black in America.

Mott is the author of two poetry collections and four novels. His first novel, “The Returned,” was adapted for television and aired on ABC under the title “Resurrection.”

Visit to sign up and submit questions.

Jane LeGros is the director of marketing and communications for the Orleans Parish Library.

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