Rules & Guidelines

How to Participate:

  1. Review Guidelines.
  2. Educate students in Midterm elections. You can use some or all of the lessons in our "Guide to Midterm Elections" or, if students have already learned about midterms in government/social studies, that works too! This competition really lends itself to interdisciplinary teaching so we encourage teaming up.
  3. Use rubric and "Creating a TexElects Message" worksheet to guide students in creating their pieces.
  4. Submit pieces online here by May 15, 2018. For posters, please take submit a picture of the original piece and KEEP ORIGINAL. If it is selected it will be displayed in the Civic Art Exhibit. 

Registration opens February 26, 2018, and closes May 15, 2018

TexElects work must communicate a non-partisan message that encourages democratic participation in the midterm elections and calls upon the audience to consider why they should vote. Messages may include but not limited to the following subject matter:

  • Mechanics of voting Texas
  • Impact of voting
  • The what and why of midterm elections
  • Personal stories, perspectives, and interpretations of voting in Texas
  • Answers the question, why one should consider voting.

Tex Elects looks for work that demonstrates originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.

  • Submitted work cannot endorse or promote one political party or candidate over another. Projects should focus on the why and how of voting such as the importance of voting or the mechanics and process of voting. Projects should maintain a tone that is nonpartisan and not take a position for or against a political party, a candidate or an issue. Any project that fails to adhere to these general guidelines may become ineligible for the competition.
  • Partisan work will not be considered in the competition.
  • All entries must be the student’s original work, plagiarism is forbidden.
  • Obscenities may not be included in any of the materials.
  • By submitting work, consent is given to the Annette Strauss Institute to display work for promotional use for the TexElects program.
  • All submitted work must include an artist's statement that expresses your overall vision and explains how ideas in the work might inspire participation in the 2018 midterm elections.

Eligibility: Public, private, or home-school students in Texas enrolled in grades 9–12 are eligible to participate. Students may participate in school classrooms, in an after-school program, or as part of a community organization's program.

30 State Finalists’ work will be chosen to be displayed in the Summer Civic Art Exhibit at the Contemporary Austin, Jones Center in the Community Gallery. The finalists will be notified via email on May 27, 2018. Additionally, one winner's work from each category will be used to promote participation in the 2018 midterm election. 

For specific category, details click here.


Support Materials


Judging Criteria: (include Rubrics)

Originality - Work that breaks from convention and captures a unique point of view and style

Technical Skill - Work that uses a technique to advance perspective or a personal vision or voice, and show skills being utilized to create something unique, powerful, and innovative.

Message - How does the work communicate a nonpartisan message that impacts the viewer/reader's knowledge and perspectives, encouraging political participation in the 2018 midterm election.


Submission process:

  1. Submit artwork through the link below, make sure to fill out the form thoroughly.

  2. If the artist is a minor, print 

     and have a parent/guardian and an educator sign, scan, and email them to Kayla Brown or mail to The Annette Strauss Institute 2504 A Whitis Ave., Stop R2000, Austin, TX 78712
  3. Entries become the property of the Annette Strauss Institute.

Submit Here

*Access lessons to guide the project process here to the contest category page.