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Students can help design Missouri’s bicentennial posters

JEFFERSON CITY – What should a Missouri Bicentennial poster look like? Students around the state can help decide.

Missouri will turn 200 in 2021, and students are invited to submit design ideas for four posters to celebrate the event.

The contest has two levels: children currently in grades 3-6, and those in grades 7-12. All Missouri students are eligible, but each student must be sponsored by an institution or group. Those include nonprofit arts agencies, cultural heritage and educational institutions (e.g. museums and historical societies, 4-H clubs, private and public schools, homeschool networks, etc.) and public libraries.

Four concepts – two from each age group – will be chosen. Each winner will get $200 and a certificate of achievement, and will be invited to attend the poster’s unveiling.

Here are the guidelines, which can also be accessed at

  • Entries should interpret the theme: Sharing Missouri’s stories—past, present, and future.
  • Students should use two-dimensional art media (i.e. paints, crayons, colored pencils or collage) and ensure the media will transfer to a poster format.
  • Designs should be 8.5″×11″ and vertically oriented.
  • Only entries created by individual students without assistance— with the exception of appropriate assistive technology devices— will be considered.
  • Only one entry per student will be considered.
  • Entries must be received no later than Oct. 31, 2020.

Each sponsoring institution can send only two entries per age category.

Two winners from each category will be chosen, judging by these criteria:

  • Interpretation of the contest theme: Sharing Missouri’s stories— past, present, and future.
  • The originality of the submission.
  • Consideration of geographic and cultural diversity.
  • Aesthetic quality; i.e. the art submission should be appealing to the eye.
  • Overall artistic ability; i.e. degree of creativity and skill for the age group.
  • Ability to translate the concept into a final poster design.

Sponsoring institutions must submit each entry through an online application form. Once the application form is complete and submitted, it must be printed and mailed with the artwork to:

The State Historical Society of Missouri
Attn: Missouri Bicentennial Poster
605 Elm Street Columbia, MO 65201

Submitted artwork will not be returned.

The four winning concepts will be picked by Dec. 15; then they’ll be used to design four Missouri Bicentennial posters. All entries received by the deadline will also be featured on the Missouri 2021 website and social media channels through the end of the bicentennial commemoration.

In 1921, artist Vinnorma Shaw designed the poster to commemorate the Missouri Centennial and advertise the Missouri Centennial Exposition at the Missouri State Fair. 

The 2021 posters will take their place in history as well.


Staff is home to The NorthSider and The SouthSider weekly community newspapers. The SouthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Tuesday. The NorthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Thursday. They are distributed at over 600 locations across St. Louis.

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