Welcome to the 2023 “Civics Season” photo contest! This is a photo contest open to high schoolers and undergraduates attending school in Western Pennsylvania (see end of page for list of counties included.) Each age group will compete in their own category.

“Civics” is the theme of this contest. Photos must involve this theme somehow, but it is left up to you what “civics” means. This could include photos of anything from American flags to protest signs – anything that relates to civic participation or civic mindedness. Your photo can celebrate America and/or raise questions about whether we are fully living up to our democratic potential. We encourage you to think creatively!

This contest is part of “Civic Season”, a celebration of American democracy starting with Juneteenth and concluding with the 4th of July. The photos you submit must have been originally taken on or between June 16th, 2023 and July 4th, 2023 (Juneteenth is June 19th but because that is a Monday this year, photos can be taken starting Friday, June 16th.)

This contest is focused on civics in Western Pennsylvania. All photos must be taken in one of the counties in Western Pennsylvania (see end of page for list of counties included.) All submissions will need to indicate which county the photo was taken in, but you do NOT have to live in the county your photo was taken in.

A written explanation of your photo is not required, but if the subject of the photo is not clear, you may add an explanation of how the photo relates to the theme of civics. Judging will not be based on any written components, however, but only on the photo itself.

The finalists and winners from each age group will be contacted via email. Finalists will be given a one-year membership to the Senator John Heinz History Center, and the winners will receive a membership as well as a shirt or sweater of their choice from our gift shop. Finalists and winners will also have the option of their photos being publicized on the Heinz History Center social media accounts.

Have fun thinking of creative ways to photograph democracy in Western Pennsylvania!

Accepted file types: jpg, gif, png, pdf, Max. file size: 10 MB.

List of counties considered part of “Western Pennsylvania” for the purposes of this contest: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Somerset, Venango, Warren, Washington, and Westmoreland.