Official Rules

What to Enter

We are looking for original artwork inspired by any and all of the Founding Stories (not just the most popular ones!).

If you choose to include people in your image submission, you are responsible for obtaining the necessary releases from the individuals depicted, and must be able to provide copies of those releases to City Year, Inc. upon request. Entrants must not submit images that infringe on the rights of any other designer, photographer or person.

All images will be credited to the artist’s name and, if applicable,  their City Year site or other descriptive information. City Year, Inc. has final approval of any language that appears on its website with any of the images and will not promote or endorse third-party products or services.

How to Enter

Each image must be submitted electronically through the Art of Idealism Submission form found at during the Contest Period and following the instructions to complete and submit the entry form. City Year, Inc. reserves the right to upload images submitted through this process to its website and social media properties for display and publish them in the Founding Stories Book or any other City Year publication. For your entry to be valid, you must complete all required information.  Each image may only be entered one time, but individuals may submit multiple images to the contest and must submit each image separately for entry. City Year reserves the right to disqualify any entry if it is deemed inappropriate or unusable.

Eligibility and Judging

To ensure eligibility for the contest, entries must be submitted using the submission form. The files will automatically be sized to an appropriate web size of 1,000 pixels. The winners for each story will be notified and asked to submit their full-size, full-resolution digital file via e-mail to a provided address. City Year, Inc. may reach out to some entrants to receive the original artwork whether that be the actual physical artwork or the native digital file. If an applicant is unable to scan original artwork themselves, you may mail in your entry and City Year, Inc. will digitize the file (City Year, Inc. is not responsible for lost or stolen artwork).

Previously published material for which non-exclusive rights were granted may be entered as long as you still maintain the right to grant us a license (see “Your Rights” below). You must be able to disclose when and where the image appeared previously to City Year, Inc. upon request.

All of the entries will be posted at the Website and will initially be judged by the online voting process detailed on the website.  The top images receiving the most total votes for each founding story will be selected as finalists. The finalists for each story will then be judged by a panel of judges selected by City Year, Inc. in its sole discretion. The judges will select the winners for each story, one overall winner and one runner-up winner. Judging of the finalists’ images will be determined in City Year Inc.’s sole discretion.  All finalists’ images will be judged on the successful articulation of the founding story (how the artwork has captured the essence/message of the story), originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact and artistic merit.

City Year, Inc. shall determine the winners’ eligibility in its sole and absolute discretion. All decisions made by the judges are final.


Online entries can be uploaded starting 9:01 am Eastern Standard Time on February 1, 2012. Deadline for submitting entries is 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time on March 25, 2012.

Winning Images and Prizes

After the online voting process has identified the finalists, City Year, Inc.’s judging panel will select images to be the contest’s winners for the following stories:

  • Be The Change
  • The Beloved Community
  • The Bridge Builder
  • Cathedral Building
  • Everybody Can Be Great
  • It Takes a Village
  • It’s In Your Hands
  • The Lighthouse
  • The Long Walk
  • Love and Joy
  • Moccasins
  • Never Doubt
  • Night Into Day
  • The Rabbi’s Gift
  • Ripples
  • Sand Into Diamonds
  • Seven Generations
  • The Shoulders of Giants
  • The Starfish Story
  • Stone Soup
  • The Traveler
  • Ubuntu
  • Up the River
  • Water

In addition to having their artwork published in the Founding Stories Book, each of the winners will receive a special limited edition hardcover of the Founding Stories Book signed by Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Michael Brown. Also:

  • Grand Prize winner will receive a Kindle Fire Tablet and a $25 gift certificate to Artist & Craftsman Supply
  • Runner Up winner will receive a Kindle, an 8-pack of Golden Artist Acrylic Paints and a Golden Artist painted t-shirt
  • All 24 founding stories winners selected will receive starter paint kits (acrylic or watercolor) from Artist & Craftsman Supply (pictured below), stationary/gift set from Bob’s Your Uncle, $10 gift cards to and a package of City Year promotional items.

You will retain all rights to any image you submit — including ownership if applicable (any images including a person should include the appropriate release from such person as part of the contest submission). By entering your image in the contest you grant City Year, Inc. a nonexclusive right, in perpetuity, to:

  • Publish the image for City Year Inc.’s purposes in any format, including on City Year Inc.’s website, social media properties and in City Year Inc.’s publications or presentations, such as newsletters, brochures, public service announcements, advertisements, downloads and social media as part of the Contest.
  • Use, in connection with the Contest, your name, City Year site and year, city, state and country of residence in promotions and other publications.
  • Keep the files provided, and to archive the image in other electronic form, so that your image can be properly credited and used for the above purposes.

As conditions of this permission, City Year Inc. shall credit all images with artist’s name.

By entering, participants agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless City Year Inc., its respective subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents and representatives (collectively, “City Year Inc.”), from any and all third party liability for any injuries, loss, claim, action, demand or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with the competition (collectively, “Losses”), including without limitation any third party claim for copyright infringement or a violation of an individual’s right to privacy and/or publicity right. The Contest is void where prohibited by law.

Each participant in the Contest (each a “Participant”) is responsible for ensuring that he or she has the right to submit images to the Contest per these rules. All potential winners will be required to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility/Liability Release, and, where necessary, a Publicity Release (including social security number).

Winners are responsible for all taxes and fees associated with prize receipt, including but not limited to federal, state and/or local income and other taxes.

You agree that any and all disputes that cannot be resolved with City Year Inc., and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, before a court of competent jurisdiction located in Boston, Massachusetts, which court shall apply the laws of the State of Massachusetts without regard for rules of conflicts of law. IN ANY SUCH DISPUTE, PARTICIPANT SHALL NOT BE ENTITLED TO ANY PUNITIVE, SPECIAL, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ATTORNEYS’ FEES, OR ANY DAMAGES OTHER THAN PARTICIPANT’S ACTUAL OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES (IF ANY) ASSOCIATED WITH PARTICIPATING IN THE CONTEST. YOU HEREBY WAIVE ANY RIGHTS TO HAVE DAMAGES MULTIPLIED OR INCREASED. The Contest and City Year Inc.’s web site are provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either express or implied.

City Year Inc. is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by web site users or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the art competition, or by any technical or human error that may occur in the processing of submissions to this competition, including but not limited to any misprints or typographical errors. The City Year Inc. assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries. City Year Inc. is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer equipment, servers, providers, computer on-line systems, software, or failure of email on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any web site, including injury or damage to participant’s or to any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating or uploading images or information in the photo contest.

If, for any reason, the Contest is not capable of completion as planned, including but not limited to, any reason of infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or any other causes beyond the control of City Year Inc. that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Contest, City Year Inc. reserves the right at their sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest.

Terms & Conditions:
I hereby warrant that I have read the attached entry rules for the City Year Inc. Founding Stories Art Contest (the “Contest”) and understand them in full, and that by submitting my Work electronically as described in the rules, I hereby agree to be bound by the rules and further agree as follows:

I attest that, to the best of my knowledge, this entry (“the Work”) is the original work of the parties listed in the entry submission and that I have full power and authority to enter my submission under the terms outlined herein. I verify that the Work provided as my entry is free of matter that is libelous, an invasion of privacy, or is in any other way unlawful. I further warrant that the Work does not infringe upon any statutory copyright, common-law literary right, or proprietary right of any third party, and that, where applicable, I have secured any necessary permission for use of third party material incorporated in the Work for City Year Inc., (“City Year”) as outlined herein.

I hereby grant City Year a perpetual, non-exclusive, world-wide right to:

  • Publish the image for City Year’s purposes in any format, including on City Year’s website and in City Year’s publications or presentations, such as newsletters, brochures, public service announcements, advertisements, downloads and social media.
  • Use, in connection with the Contest, my name, city, state and country of residence in promotions and other publications.
  • Keep the files provided, and to archive the image in other electronic form, so that my image can be properly credited and used for the above purposes.

City Year warrants that where possible it shall include in all uses of the Work an attribution, as detailed in the Contest rules.