Celebration of the Arts

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Finding a new passion

“The Beacon Celebration of the Arts” is a year-long program (Oct. 2017-Sept. 2018) to inspire those in the Beacon Newspapers’ readership area to engage in a new artistic endeavor and to compete for recognition and prizes.

The Celebration was inspired by moving stories from Beacon readers who have developed a passion later in life for painting, sculpting, photography or writing poetry.


Competition Categories

Painting Sculpture/3-D Photography Poetry

Readers will have six months in which to gain experience with one or more of these arts, and then will be invited to enter a regional competition for cash prizes and gallery showings.

We want to see as many of our readers as possible — whether you read the Baltimore Beacon, the Howard County Beacon or the Greater Washington Beacon — try their hand in the coming year at one or more of these arts:

— Painting: of any type on any medium,

— 3-D & Mixed Media: including sculpture in wood, stone or metal, fired clay/pottery, fiber art, found object art and the like,

— Photography: including images of people, places or objects, as well as abstract and other images manipulated by  digital means, or

— Poetry

After giving you a few months to learn about these arts and develop your skills in them, we will then solicit your best new works for a regional competition to be judged by professional artists.

While many of you may already be quite proficient in one or more of these fields, and a number may even be professional artists, we particularly want to encourage amateurs to take a local or online class in their chosen area(s) and explore the possibilities.

We will be promoting this project through partnerships with area museums, art schools, recreation departments, retirement communities, galleries and more, as well as through monthly articles and ads in the Beacon.

We are especially pleased to announce a partnership with the Maryland Federation of Art (MFA), which will be providing us access to their excellent website for soliciting entries in the competition phase. Details about how to enter will be published in the Beacon later this year and on our site here.

While there will be a modest fee of $10 per entry, entering will entitle you to a one-year membership in MFA (new members only; value: $70), and enable you to set up your own "gallery" online — a kind of mini-website, where you can share your artwork and poetry with friends.

Entries will also be archived on the site, and will be visible to the general public once the winners are announced.

In my eagerness to share this exciting news with you, I have probably jumped the gun a bit. We are still ironing out some details and developing the rules for the competition. And we are only beginning to solicit partners and sponsors for this rather hefty year-long undertaking.

So, there will be more to tell you as time goes on. But I wanted to share the news and whet your appetites for what I believe will be a very exciting and invigorating project.

In the meantime, I encourage you to experiment with a new craft: Take a painting or sculpture class at a local recreation center. Take a new look at the world through the camera on your phone. Or simply pick up a pen and shape what you're thinking about, or have recently experienced, into a poem.

In short, let yourself blossom in your own unique way.



Winners will receive awards, cash prizes, and have their work exhibited. In addition, photos of all artists and their works will be published in a special "Celebration of the Arts" section to be printed in every Beacon next fall.

For more information about our Celebration of the Arts, read upcoming issues of the Beacon, email us at arts@thebeaconnewspapers.com, or call us at (301) 949-9766.  


Limited Sponsorships Available

The program will be promoted through Sept. 2018 in all editions of the Beacon, with prominent sponsor recognition. Potential partners and sponsors are also encouraged to contact us to learn how you can participate. We look forward to hearing from you! Please contact Alan@thebeaconnewspapers.com for sponsorship opportunities.

Presented in partnership with the Maryland Federation of Art.


If you would like to receive notifications to contest rules, submission deadlines, or other information about "The Beacon Celebaration of the Arts" please signup for our email list here.