Knights & Daughters of Vartan announce 2023 writing and visual arts contest

The Knights and Daughters of Vartan are holding its annual writing and visual arts contest in conjunction with the 108th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and its subsequent commemoration in Times Square, New York, on Sunday, April 23, 2023. High school students are invited to participate.

Winners will be announced during the Times Square commemoration.

The essay must respond to the following essay prompt and include the name of the survivor whose testimony is cited.

Survivor testimonies bring to life the tragic circumstances Armenian Genocide survivors endured to escape the first genocide of the 20th century, that took place from 1915-1923 and saw the murders of 1.5 million Armenians. Although the Turkish government continues to deny the Armenian Genocide ever occurred, scores of witness testimonies prove otherwise. The USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive collection contains over 600 interviews relating to the Armenian Genocide. Please select one testimony and describe through writing or an art form of your choice how an Armenian Genocide survivor’s experience can serve as an inspiration to make meaningful change in today’s society.

“The contest’s theme allows students to learn more about survivor testimonies and to find deeper meaning and inspiration behind their words and resilience,” explained Times Square commemoration co-chairs Haig Gulian and Christopher Artun.

All submissions must be emailed to by 11:59 pm on Monday, April 10, 2023. First through third place prizes are $300, $200 and $100, respectively. 

Writing requirements:

  • Responses must be between 750-1,000 words typed in Times New Roman 12-point font and double-spaced.
  • The applicant’s first and last name and contact information must appear at the top of each page.
  • Accepted file formats include.doc, .docx, .pdf
  • The essay will be judged on its originality, clarity, historical accuracy and understanding of the essay contest theme. 

Visual arts requirements:

  • Each entry submitted should have an accompanying statement (up to 250 words) from the artist describing the piece.
  • Submissions can include various artistic mediums, including watercolor, charcoal, pencil, pastel, chalk, oils, or acrylics, as well as photography or computer-generated images.
  • Submissions can include photographs of the artwork.
  • All submissions must be the sole creation of the student artist.
Taleen Babayan

Taleen Babayan

Taleen Babayan earned her masters in journalism from Columbia University in 2008 and her bachelors degree in history and international relations from Tufts University in 2006. Her work has been published widely in both Armenian and non-Armenian media. She can be contacted at

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