Hasten Hebrew Academy of Indianapolis Wins ACLU Constitution Day Wall of Rights Mural Contest

January 22, 2014 12:00 am

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NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union today announced Hasten Hebrew Academy of Indianapolis as the $10,000 grand prize winner of the Constitution Day, Brought to You by the ACLU art contest. Launched on September 17, 2013 to help educate middle schoolers about the importance and relevance of the Constitution in their everyday lives, the program featured an art contest with a total of $25,000 in prize awards.

“It is essential that our youth understand that the Constitution is the foundation of our democracy and the guarantor of freedom, equality and justice for all in America,” said Emily Tynes, ACLU National director of communications. “It is a living document that affects every aspect of their lives.”

“We congratulate Hasten Hebrew Academy of Indianapolis for a compelling work of art that beautifully illustrates the many ways the U.S. Constitution protects us all,” said Jane Henegar, ACLU of Indiana executive director. “The ACLU of Indiana is extremely pleased for these students who so compellingly conveyed the spirit and meaning of the Constitution.”

The winning artwork depicted the students’ interpretation of Jasper Johns’ Flag painting (1954-55). It can be viewed online at: constitutionday.aclu.org/rights.

The contest was judged by celebrity artist Shepard Fairey, creator of the iconic “HOPE” posters supporting Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Hasten Hebrew Academy won first place, Sanford Middle School (Minneapolis, MN; $7,500) won second place, Argyle Middle School (Silver Spring, MD; $5,000) won third place and Paul Charter Public School (Washington, D.C.; $2,500) received honorable mention.

“I think the winning piece accomplishes a very visually pleasing and cohesive presentation of several constitutional concepts integral to equality and civil liberties,” said Fairey. “The young artists at all of the winning schools did an outstanding job. I hope that more youth become involved in this exciting program in the coming years.”

“As responsible Americans, we must educate our youth in hopes of a better future,” said the students at Hasten Hebrew Academy.

This year the Constitution Day program will feature another competition open to all middle schools receiving federal funding; provide a curriculum for teachers to use; include celebrity ambassadors to reach students and expand on interactive games and trivia on the program’s website.

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