German-American Day Essay Contest for Indiana High-School and College Students

The Indiana German Heritage Society (IGHS) sponsors a yearly essay contest for high school students in Indiana. In addition, the IUPUI Max Kade German-American Center and IGHS co-sponsor an essay contest for college students in Indiana. This year’s essay topic is “German-American Visual Artists.”

1. Essay Contest for High School Students. Deadline: Oct. 31
2. Essay Contest for College Students. Deadline: November 3

Both the high-school and college essays have the same prompt:

The German-speaking immigrants to the New World and their descendants were not only farmers, business people, craftsmen, entrepreneurs, and educators, but also artists – painters, photographers, cartoonists, printmakers and others. Especially in the 1900s and later, German-American artists left their mark on the cultural landscape of the country, including Indiana and the Midwest. During the Nazi period and World War II famous German artists lived in exile in the U.S., often assuming American citizenship and teaching art at colleges or art schools.

In your essay, please highlight and analyze one (or several) of the contributions German Americans made to the visual arts in the U.S and/or Indiana. Are those contributions still evident today? Factual evidence/research and personal analysis will both be considered equally.

High School Students’ Essay Guidelines:

 You may choose just one artist or give a general overview
 Essay length: 750-1000 words (in English). State your sources.
 PowerPoint presentation, including images (in English, appr. 8-10 slides)
 Statement of your background (in German, up to one page), highlighting any experiences with German language and culture which have influenced your personal life
and educational career.

College Students’ Contest Requirements:

• Essay (in German): between 550-650 words, double-spaced, in Times New Roman size 12 font. Please include a bibliography with your sources.
• Personal statement (in English) of your background, highlighting experiences with German language and culture which have influenced your personal life and educational career. One page, double-spaced.
• Include cover page with name and contact information, as well as university affiliation.

Cash prizes are given for first, second, and third places. High school first prize is $300, and college first prize is $350.

All essays need to be submitted to Dr. Claudia Grossmann of the IUPUI Max Kade German-American Center. Email essays to and call her at (317) 274-3943 with any questions.