Reflections Program Rules

PTA Reflections logo

Use the arts to share your personal Reflections on this year’s theme: HEROES AROUND ME

Use the following guidelines and official program rules to enter. Submissions are due to your school by NOVEMBER 9, 2018. Experienced artists will evaluate your work for interpretation of theme, creativity and technique.We look forward to celebrating your artistry and achievement in the arts!
Students who identify as having a disability and may receive services under IDEA or ADA: Section 504 may enter in the Special Artist Division or grade division most closely aligned to their functional abilities. See Official Rules for details.

OFFICIAL RULES

Printable version of the Official Reflections Rules

Dance Choreography:

Solo and ensemble works of all dance styles are accepted. Entrant must be the choreographer and may also be the performer, or one of the performers. If background music is used, cite it on the entry form. Video file must not exceed 5 min. and 1 GB in size. Accepted formats: AVI, FLV, WMV, MOV, MP4.

Film Production:

Accepted short film styles include: Animation, narrative, documentary, experimental or media presentation. Use of PowerPoint is prohibited. Entrant must be the screenwriter, cinematographer, editor and producer. If background music is used, cite it on the entry form. Video file must not exceed 5 min. and 1 GB in size. Accepted formats: AVI, FLV, WMV, MOV, MP4.

Literature:

Accepted forms of fiction and nonfiction include: Prose, poetry, reflective essay, screen play and play script, narrative, and short story. Entrants may write in their primary language as long as an interpretive English translation is also attached. Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. Writing must not exceed 2,000 words and may be handwritten or typed. Accepted formats: Single-sided print on 8 ½x11” paper.

Music Composition:

All music styles and combinations of instrumentation are accepted. Entrant must be the composer and may also be the performer, or one of the performers. Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. Audio file must not exceed 5 min. and 1 GB in size. Accepted formats: MP3, WMA, WAV, ACC, FLAC. Notation (score/tabulature) in hard copy format is only required for middle and high school divisions.

Photography:

Photo must be a single print/digital image. Collages and collections of photos are not accepted. Entrant must be the photographer and may use a variety of digital editing techniques including but not limited to, multiple exposure, negative sandwich and photogram. Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. Print image dimensions must be no smaller than 3×5 inches and no larger than 8×10 inches. Accepted print formats: Mounted on mat or poster board no larger than 11×14 inches. Framed prints are not accepted.

Visual Arts:

Works of both fine and design arts are accepted, including but not limited to: architectural drawing and models, ceramics, collage, computer generated images and graphics, crafts, drawing, fashion clothes and jewelry, fiber work, mixed media, painting, printmaking and sculpture. Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. 2D artworks must be mounted on sturdy material and no larger than 24×30 inches with matting. Framed entries are not accepted. Include one digital image of artwork with your submission. 3D artwork submissions must contain 3 digital images of artwork at different angles. Image(s) are used for artwork identification, judging and exhibition purposes.

SUBMISSION DETAILS

By submitting an artwork to the “National PTA Reflections Program,” entrants accept and agree to be bound by the official rules for participation as well as the entry requirements for their specific arts category and division. Additional state program requirements may apply. Any violation of these rules may, at PTA’s discretion, result in disqualification. All decisions of the reviewers regarding this program are final and binding in all respects. (The “PTA” referred to in these rules include all PTAs reviewing the submission).

1 – ELIGIBILITY

Students must participate through a local PTA/PTSA. Each student’s eligibility is determined by the state and local PTA/PTSA. A student may develop an entry inside or outside of school.

2 – ARTS CATEGORIES

There are six arts categories—dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts. Students may enter the National PTA Reflections Program in one or more arts categories. See each arts category rules for additional entry requirements.

3 – GRADE DIVISIONS

Students may enter in the appropriate division for their grade (Primary: Preschool-Grade 2; Intermediate: Grades 3-5; Middle School: Grades 6-8; High School: Grades 9-12; Special Artist: All grades welcome).

Special Artist Division

This division welcomes students from all grades and abilities and offers non-artistic accommodations(e.g. adaptive technology;transcribing;holding a camera)for students to participate fully in PTA Reflections. Assistants must refrain from being involved in the artistic process(e.g.developing an artist statement, choreography, music lyrics, storyboards, etc.) Student recognition and awards are announced as part of the Special Artist Division.

4 – HOW TO ENTER

Entrants must submit their artwork and student entry form to their local PTA/PTSA program according to local and state PTA procedures. Entrants must follow requirements and instructions specific to each arts category and division. Contact local PTA programs for deadlines and additional information.

5 – ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

(All participants must also follow arts category and if applicable, Special Artist Division rules)

  • Only new pieces of artwork inspired by the current year’s theme may be submitted.
  • Each entry must be the original work of one student only. An adult may not alter the creative integrity of a student’s work. Because the program is designed to encourage and recognize each student’s individual creativity, help from an adult or collaboration with other students is not allowed except in the Special Artist Division. Other individuals may appear in or perform a student’s work, but the work itself must be the creative product of one student only. Only one student may be recognized as the award recipient for each entry. See the specific arts category rules and special artist division rules for details.
  • Each entry must contain a title and all entries must include an artist statement. The artist statement communicates what inspired the work, how it relates to the theme, and the content of the work. The statement must include at least 10 words and not exceed 100 words.
  • Use of copyrighted material is prohibited, except for background music in dance choreography and film production entries. If used in dance choreography and film production entries, background music must be cited on the entry form. Plagiarized entries will be disqualified. Use of PowerPoint templates are prohibited.

6 – FINALIST SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION

Entries are reviewed at local, regional, state and national levels. Each PTA determines its own reviewers for the program. Entries will be reviewed primarily on how well the student uses their artistic vision to portray the theme, their originality and creativity. The National PTA Reflections® program makes no restrictions on content or subject matter in artwork. Under no condition may parents or students contact a reviewer to dispute the status/score of any entry. Each PTA in its sole discretion will select finalists for exhibition and provide awards/prizes. Awards are announced per local and state procedures. National awards and events are announced May 1, 2019 at PTA.org/Reflections.

7 – OWNERSHIP AND LICENSE

Ownership in any submission shall remain the property of the entrant, but entry into this program constitutes entrant’s irrevocable permission and consent that PTA may display, copy, reproduce, enhance, print, sublicense, publish, distribute and create derivative works for PTA purposes. PTA is not responsible for lost or damaged entries. Submission of entry into the PTA Reflections program constitutes acceptance of all rules and conditions.

8 – PARTICIPATING ENTITIES

This program is administered by the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and PTA affiliates. Parent groups not affiliated with National PTA are not eligible to sponsor this program.


RULES BY ENTRY CATEGORY

DANCE CHOREOGRAPHY OFFICIAL RULES

Printable version of Dance Choreography Rules

Dance Choreography is the act of creating movement. The choreographer (student submitting entry) may be the performer or one of the performers, but the choreographer does not have to perform in the entry.

Reflect on the 2018-2019 Theme: Heroes Around Me

Consider the following styles and ensembles to portray your original choreography: Ballet, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Jazz, Tap, Folk Dance, Religious Dance, Dance Ensembles (color guard/indoor guard), Ice Skating/Dancing and Gymnastics-floor Routine.

Consider use of background song(s), props and the location to show a clear relation of the dance choreography to the theme. An explanation of the origin of the dance and/or the significance of the choreography might be a useful addition to the artist statement when submitting a dance choreography entry that involves traditional, cultural or regional dances. Whether an entry displays formal dance technique or a simple approach, it will be judged primarily on how well the student uses his or her artistic vision to portray the theme, originality and creativity.

Suggestions for Audio/Visual Quality:

  • Use a tripod to hold the camera still.
  • Make sure there is plenty of lighting, especially if shooting indoors.
  • Turn off all noise-making devices in the room (air conditioners, fans, telephones, etc.)
  • Record a short test and listen to it. If needed, change the record volume or microphone location.
  • Make sure the background music (if any) is audible on the recording.
  • Allow for two seconds of silence at the beginning and end of your recording.

Copyright: Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. Plagiarized entries will be disqualified. Use of background music must be cited on the student entry form.

Submission Requirements:

  • Only new pieces of artwork inspired by the theme may be submitted.
  • Each entry must be the original work of ONE STUDENT ONLY.
  • Video must not exceed 5 minutes in length and 1GB (one gigabyte) in file size.
  • Accepted file formats include: AVI, MOV, MP4, WMV and FLV.
  • Cite background music (if any) on the student entry form.
  • Label CD/DVD/flash drive with title of artwork, arts category, and division.
  • Submit dance video and student entry form according to your PTA’s instructions.

All participants must also follow Official Rules for Participation.


FILM PRODUCTION RULES

Printable version of Film Production Rules

FILM PRODUCTION is the process of making a film. The producer (student submitting the entry) is not required to appear in the film but if the student chooses to, a camera tripod may be used. All screenwriting, directing, camera/filming and editing must be done by the student producer. PowerPoint presentations are prohibited.

Reflect on the 2018-2019 Theme: Heroes Around Me

Consider the following styles to portray your original work of fiction or nonfiction:

  • Animation: Demonstrates motion by sequencing still objects or using computer-generated graphics.
  • Narrative: Tells a fictional story developed by the student.
  • Documentary: Presents facts and information.
  • Experimental: Explores movement, light and montage.
  • Multimedia: Uses a combination of different contents (text, audio, still images, animation, etc.).

An explanation of the storyline and/or the significance of the film style might be a useful addition to the artist statement. Whether an entry displays use of technologies or a simple approach, it will be judged primarily on how well the student uses his or her artistic vision to portray the theme, originality and creativity. Software used to create an entry should only enhance and present the work, not provide the primary design.

Copyright:

Entry may include public places, well-known products, trademarks or certain other copyrighted material as long as that copyrighted material is nonessential to the subject matter of the piece and/or is a smaller element of a whole. Use of background music must be cited on the student entry form.

Suggestions for Audio/Visual Quality:

  • Use a tripod to hold the camera still
  • Make sure there is plenty of lighting, especially if shooting indoors
  • Turn off all noise-making devices in the room (air conditioners, fans, telephones, etc.)
  • Record a short test and listen to it. If needed, change the record volume or microphone location.
  • Make sure the background music (if any) is audible on the recording.
  • Allow for two seconds of silence at the beginning and end of your recording.

Submission Requirements

  • Only new pieces of artwork inspired by the theme may be submitted.
  • Each entry must be the original work of one student only.
  • Video must not exceed 5 minutes in length and 1GB (one gigabyte) in file size.
  • Accepted file formats include: AVI, MOV, MP4, WMV and FLV.
  • Use of background music must be cited on the student entry form.
  • Label CD/DVD/flashdrive with title of artwork, arts category and division.
  • Submit film and student entry form according to your PTA’s instructions.

All participants must also follow Official Rules for Participation.


LITERATURE RULES

Printable version of Literature Rules

LITERATURE is the art of writing. The author (student submitting entry) is a person who expresses their own thoughts and ideas through the use of words. Authors submit a single literary work, handwritten or typed, using grade-appropriate grammar, punctuation and spelling. Collections of literary work (such as poems and short stories) are not accepted.

Reflect on the 2018-2019 Theme: Heroes Around Me

Consider the following literary styles to portray your original work of fiction or nonfiction: Prose, Poetry, Reflective essay, Narrative, Short story, Screen Play and Play Script.

An explanation of the storyline and/or the significance of the literature style might be a useful addition to the artist statement. Whether an entry displays formal writing technique or a simple approach, it will be judged primarily on how well the student uses his or her artistic vision to portray the theme, originality and creativity. Illustrated entries, including books, with pictures drawn by the student author are acceptable; however, only literary content is judged.

Acceptable Use of Type, Dictation and Translation:

  • Be typed by another person as long as the original work or a copy of the original work is attached.
  • Be dictated to another person and printed or typed in exact words as spoken by the student if the student is in pre-school, kindergarten or 1st grade. (Transcribers should make every attempt to retain the same level of language and accuracy that is reflected in the student’s original work).
  • Students for whom English is not their first language may submit literature entries in their own language. An interpretive translation in English must accompany the entry.
  • Translators should make every attempt to retain the same level of language and accuracy that is reflected in the student’s original work.

Copyright:

Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. Plagiarized entries will be disqualified.

Submission Requirements:

  • Only new pieces of artwork inspired by the theme may be submitted.
  • Each entry must be the original work of one student only.
  • Entry must not exceed 2,000 words.
  • Hand written & typed entries are accepted on 8.5×11 paper (one sided only).
  • Number each page.
  • Include student name, entry title, arts category and division on back of entry.

All participants must also follow Official Rules for Participation.


MUSIC COMPOSITION RULES

Printable version of Music Composition Rules

MUSIC COMPOSITION is the process of creating a new piece of music. The composer (student submitting entry) is a person who expresses their own thoughts and ideas through the use of sound. The student composer may submit an entry performed by an individual or group and/or make use of a sound library generated performance of a composed score. Student composers are not required to perform their composition. Middle and high school grade divisions require music score/tablature/notation, either traditional or tablature.

Reflect on the 2018-2019 Theme: Heroes Around Me

Consider the following musical styles and instruments to portray your original composition: A Cappella, Blues, Choral, Country, Electronic, Hip hop, Jazz, Latin, Musical, Orchestral, Pop, R&B, Religious, Rock, Symphonic/Concert Band and Traditional.

All instruments, sounds, styles and combinations are accepted. Software may be used to produce an audio recording that does not include commercially pre-programmed imported MIDI or other source files. Entries containing algorithmic composition techniques are not accepted. An explanation of the origin of the music and/or the significance of the music style might be a useful addition to the artist statement when submitting a music composition that involves traditional, cultural or regional instruments. Whether an entry displays formal composition technique or a simple approach, it will be judged primarily on how well the student uses his or her artistic vision to portray the theme, originality and creativity.

Suggestions for Audio Quality:

  • Do not place the recording device on top of an instrument(s) or speakers.
  • Turn off all noise-making devices in the room (air conditioners, fans, telephones, etc.).
  • Record a short test and listen to it. If needed, change the record volume or microphone location.
  • Make sure the music is audible on the recording.
  • Allow for two seconds of silence at the beginning and end of your recording.

Notation & Score: (Middle School & High School Divisions Only)

  • Music score/tablature/notation required for middle school and high school divisions. Accepted file types include PDF and DOC.
  • Notation software may be used to create a score.
  • Whether the score is handwritten or computer-generated, appropriate instrumentation and voicing are required for the performance.

Copyright:

Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. Plagiarized entries will be disqualified.

Submission Requirements:

  • Only new pieces of artwork inspired by the theme may be submitted.
  • Each entry must be the original work of one student only.
  • Audio recording must not exceed 5 minutes in length and 1GB (one gigabyte) in file size.
  • Accepted audio file formats include: MP3, WMA, WAV, ACC (M4A) and FLAC.
  • Label CD/DVD/flash drive with title of artwork, arts category and division.
  • Submit entry and student entry form to your PTA Reflections Chair.

All participants must also follow Official Rules for Participation.


PHOTOGRAPHY RULES

Printable version of Photography Rules

PHOTOGRAPHY is the process of creating an image. The photographer (student submitting entry) is a person who captures their own thoughts and ideas with a camera. By focusing on objects using various lenses, filters and light sources, photographers may demonstrate the use of photographic techniques conventionally or digitally.

Reflect on the 2018-2019 Theme: Heroes Around Me

  • Accepted forms of photography include: A single photo, panoramic, photomontage (one print of multiple original photos), a multiple exposure, negative sandwich or photogram. Original black-and-white and color images are accepted.
  • Non-accepted forms of photography include: Entries with added graphics over the image, including lettering, are not accepted. Collages and collections of photos are not accepted. Original film (negatives or transparencies) and multidimensional pieces are not accepted.

Consider use of objects, lighting and the location to show a clear relation of the photo to the theme.An explanation of the photography process/form might be a useful addition to the artist statement. Whether an entry displays use of technologies or a simple approach, it will be judged primarily on how well the student uses his or her artistic vision to portray the theme, originality and creativity.

Copyright:

Use of copyrighted material, including copyrighted cartoon characters or other such material, is not acceptable in any photography submission, with the following exception:

  • Photographs may include public places, well-known products, trademarks or certain other copyrighted material as long as that copyrighted material is incidental to the subject matter of the piece and/or is a smaller element of a whole. The resulting work cannot try to establish an association between the student and the trademark/business/material, or influence the purchase/non-purchase of the trademarked good.

Submission Requirements:

  • Only new pieces of artwork inspired by the theme may be submitted.
    Each entry must be the original work of one student only.
  • Print must not exceed 11×14 inches, including matting.
  • Print must be no smaller than 3×5 and no larger than 8×10 inches.
  • Print must be mounted on sturdy material such as cardboard or poster board not to exceed 11×14 inches, including matting.
  • Framed photos are not accepted.
  • Submit photo and student entry form according to your PTA’s instructions.

All participants must also follow Official Rules for Participation.


VISUAL ARTS RULES

Printable version of Visual Arts Rules

VISUAL ARTS include many art forms that are visual in nature. The artist (student submitting entry) is a person who captures their own thoughts and ideas to create a visual piece of art.

Accepted forms of visual art include: Architecture drawings and models, ceramics, collage, computer-generated images and graphics, crafts, drawings, fashion clothes and jewelry, fiberwork, mixed media, painting, printmaking and sculpture. Reproductions or enlargements of other artwork are not accepted.

Reflect on the 2018-2019 Theme: Heroes Around Me

An explanation of the art form might be a useful addition to the artist statement. Whether an entry displays use of formal technique or a simple approach, it will be judged primarily on how well the student uses his or her artistic vision to portray the theme, originality and creativity.

Copyright:

Use of copyrighted material, including any copyrighted cartoon characters or likeness thereof, is not acceptable in any visual arts submission, with the following exceptions:

  • Visual artwork may include public places, well-known products, trademarks or certain other copyrighted material as long as that copyrighted material is incidental to the subject matter of the piece and/or is a smaller element of a whole. The resulting work cannot try to establish an association between the student and the trademark/business/material, or influence the purchase/non-purchase of the trademarked good.
  • Visual arts collages may include portions of existing copyrighted works, such as photographs, magazine clippings, internet images and type cut out of a newspaper, as long as those portions of copyrighted works are used to create a completely new and different work of art.

Submission Requirements:

  • Only new pieces of artwork inspired by the theme may be submitted.
  • Each entry must be the original work of one student only.
  • 2D artwork (e.g. painting)
    • Dimensions must not exceed 24×30 inches, including matting.
    • Framed entries are not accepted
    • Must include one photo of entry
  • 3D artwork (e.g. sculpture)
    • New York State Specific Instruction: 3D artwork must be able to completely fit within a box no larger than 20x20x24 inches.
    • Must include packaging materials and 3 photos of the entry (a combination of angles) for judging, ID and exhibition purposes (entries that require assembling/repairing from transporting will be disqualified).
  • Framed artwork and artwork containing loose materials is not accepted. Matting is accepted.
  • Label back of entry/entry packaging with student name, title of artwork, arts category and division.
  • Submit artwork and student entry form according to your PTA’s instructions.

All participants must also follow Official Rules for Participation.


SPECIAL ARTIST ELIGIBILITY

Printable version of Special Artist Eligibility Information

SPECIAL ARTIST ELIGIBILITY. The National PTA Special Artist Division is an option for students with disabilities who receive services under IDEA or ADA: Section 504 to have the opportunity and accommodations they may need in order to participate fully in the program. The Special Artist Division offers modified rules and guidelines to ensure that every student has the chance to be part of the National PTA Reflections® program.

Who qualifies as a disabled individual under the law?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines an individual with a disability as a person who: (1) Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of that person; (2) Has a record of such an impairment; or (3) Is regarded as having such impairment.

HOW TO ENTER

Students who identify as having a disability have two ways to enter the National PTA Reflections® Program. All students may enter in only one division. Student Entry Form requires parent/legal guardian signatures.

Option 1. Enter in Grade-Level Divisions: Regardless of age, students with special needs may enter in the grade division most closely aligned to their functional abilities. Students may not receive assistance other than that which is allowed for all children. The divisions are as follows: Primary (preschool – grade 2); Intermediate (grades 3-5); Middle School (grades 6-8); High School (grades 9-12). Students are recognized and awarded prizes as part of the general student population without regard to special needs or challenges.

Option 2. Enter in Special Artist Division: Eligible students entering the Special Artist Division create their own artwork, but may receive non-artistic accommodation and assistance from an adult. Students are recognized and awarded prizes as part of the Special Artist Division.

SPECIAL ARTIST GUIDELINES

Special artists should follow the general rules and guidelines outlined in the arts category student rules specific to their submissions, modified only by accommodations for individuals with disabilities. The accommodation, in general, should be both specific and limited to the student’s disability.

Allowable Accommodations:

Given the diverse range of physical and mental disabilities that exist, it would be impossible to outline specific accommodations for each and every disability, but the following provides a non- exhaustive list of allowable accommodations:

  • The Special Artist Division will not be divided by age or traditional school grade level.
  • Use of adaptive technology is allowed.
  • All submissions must be solely created by the special artist. However, a parent, teacher or other adult may assist the special artist with typing, holding a camera, etc.
Accommodations that are Not Allowed:

Individuals providing assistance to special artists may not, in any way, involve themselves in the actual artistic process by:

  • Personally selecting a title for artwork.
  • Writing, editing or interpreting a student’s artist statement, story, poetry or script.
  • Choreographing a dance, composing music or writing lyrics.
  • Drawing, painting or personally creating a visual arts submission, choosing a camera angle,etc.

All participants must also follow Official Rules for Participation.