HARK celebrates the history and heritage of the Ark-La-Tex (Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas) region. Our annual competition encourages students to explore the history of our area and express their findings creatively. The HARK Festival and Student Competition highlights Ark-La-Tex culture through writing, art, music, handcrafts, and more.
What do you mean by heritage?
When we talk about heritage, we mean why our area is the way it is. Heritage is the history and cultures that contributed to the beautiful, unique feel of the Ark-La-Tex and its people. We have a special history that makes this place we call home so wonderful!
We want to celebrate the history, arts, crafts, music, food, and stories of those who came before us and helped us become who we are now.
Who can enter?
Anyone who is currently registered as homeschooled or as a student in a K-12 school, college, or university, public or private, is eligible to participate in the HARK Student Competition. As part of the entry form, tell us if you reside in the Ark-La-Tex, attend school in the Ark-La-Tex, and how your project examines Ark-La-Tex history.
Can I enter my whole class?
Except for bands and choirs participating in the Music class, all entries must be completed by individuals. However, we encourage classes to participate by registering each student’s work individually.
What are the prizes?
Winners will be announced for each class of entry. In each age-group, one overall winner will receive a $500 prize.
What are the judging criteria?
The judging criteria differ for each category and class, but the most important aspect of any entry is its connection to history. Make sure the judges clearly see how your entry relates to the history and heritage of the Ark-La-Tex.
What should my entry look like? Is there a format?
All entries should follow the guidelines for their classes. However, HARK is different from other student competitions. We don’t expect everyone’s entry to look the same! Each category is designed to allow student flexibility in communicating what they have learned through their chosen medium. The purpose of HARK is to celebrate the creativity of Ark-La-Tex students while they learn about the rich heritage of this area.
What do you mean by historical significance?
An explanation of your entry’s historical significance is a required part of your registration. Be short but thorough. A note for a high school student may look something like this:
Quilts are an important part of the heritage of this area because they were both practical necessities and the means of artistic expression. This quilt square is an example of the traditional pattern known as the “Log Cabin.” Like many traditional quilt patterns, this one is named after a common, everyday object. It is also a good example of traditional quilt-making because it, like many historic quilts, was made with fabric scraps, to prevent wasting fabric. Each quilt is a unique expression of the taste and personality of the person who made it. They are often passed down as heirlooms and become artifacts of the history of the family as well as the Ark-La-Tex.