Youth Art Month

The 2021 theme is Art Connects Us 

2021 YAM logo

What is Youth Art Month?
Youth Art Month is an annual observance each March to emphasize the value of art education for all children and to encourage support for quality school art programs.

Started in 1961 by the ACMI (Art and Craft Materials Institute) in cooperation with the NAEA, the program is administered by the Council for Art Education (CAE) and focuses on the following eight goals:

1. To direct attention to the value of art education which develops divergent and critical thinking skills; multicultural awareness; and technical, communication and expressive skills.
2. To increase community, business and governmental support for art education.
3. To recognize that art is a necessity for the full development of better quality of life for all people.
4. To expand art programs in schools and stimulate new ones.
5. To increase community understanding and interest in art and art education through involvement in art exhibits, workshops, and other creative ventures.
6. To provide additional opportunities for individuals of all ages to participate in creative art learning.
7. To encourage commitment to the arts by students, community organizations, and individuals everywhere.
8. To recognize art education as a viable component in the total education curricula that develops citizens of a global society.

Participating is Easy!
As a NYSATA member, you and your students are encouraged to participate in Youth Art Month as a strong advocacy tool for your program! Using our new theme, Art Connects Us, there are many ways you can demonstrate the value of art education to your district and community at large.

  • Submit Flag Designs for the New York State Flag by January 10, 2021
  • Use our ideas posted here to plan your events.
  • Submit artwork to the Youth Art Month Flagship Event, the Legislative Art Show and attend the opening reception.
  • Create an art celebration in your community.
  • Send us documentation of your event using the forms linked above.
  • Attend our information session at the NYSATA Annual Conference!
  • Plan your public relations announcements.
  • Check our Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages for ideas and the latest news.
  • Be sure to download and use our new YAM national logos.
  • Contact your YAM State Co-Chairs Donnalyn Shuster or Heather McCutcheon

As a NYSATA member, you and your students are encouraged to participate in Youth Art Month as a strong advocacy tool for your program! Using our new theme Art Connects Us there are many ways you can demonstrate the value of art education to your district and community at large. 

YAM Social Media Links

New York State Flag Design Contest 2021

New York State is lucky to have BLICK as a sponsor of the NYS Youth Art Month Flag design contest for 2021. BLICK contributes art supplies for the student winners and their teacher classrooms.  

YAM 2021 Prizes offered by BLICK
One student winner in each category—Elementary, Middle and High—receives $100 worth of art supplies and a certificate; the teacher of each winning student receives classroom art supplies worth $300. 

One overall winning student receives an assortment of art supplies worth $500 retail value; the overall winning teacher receives classroom art supplies worth $1,000 retail value.

YAM 2021 NYS Flag Information

Click Here for 2021 YAM FLAG Info

2020 New York State Youth Art Month Flag design winners:




Overall winner: Sarah Lucas
Art Teacher Ms. Heckel
Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School
Port Washington UFSD

YAM High School Winner YAM Middle school winner YAM Elementary winner
High School winner: Vanessa Espinoza
Art Teacher(s): Mrs. Schweider & Ms. Stork

Babylon Jr./Sr. High School
Middle School winner: Eliza Harnden
Art Teacher: Ms. Heckel 

Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School
Port Washington UFSD
Elementary School winnerGabriella Cimin
Art Teacher: Ms. Patti Krakoff

East Lake Elementary School




Thanks to the efforts, time and energy of our dedicated NYS art teachers we continue to maintain our art programs during challenging times in public education. You demonstrate to the community at large the long term value of strong art programs.  Thank you for giving us your Youth Art Month News  for inclusion in our New York State Report. There were so many great things going on for YAM this year.  Let's make 2021 New York State YAM celebration the biggest yet!! 

NAEA awards

2018 Award of Excellence for Youth Art Month at the 2018 NAEA Convention in Boston! This marks the tenth consecutive year that New York has been the recipient of an award honoring NYS art educators who participate in YAM and share their information so that we may compile a report demonstrating growth and the positive impact of grass roots advocacy for the visual arts.

YAM Awards

New York State YAM Awards
Awarded Annually by CFAE at the National Art Education Association Convention

  • 2020 Award of Excellence
  • 2019 Award of Excellence
  • 2018 Award of Excellence
  • 2017 Award of Excellence
  • 2016 Award of Merit
  • 2015 Award of Merit
  • 2014 Award of Merit
  • 2013 Award of Merit
  • 2012 Award of Excellence
  • 2011 Outstanding New Promotion, Outstanding Program, Certificate of Commendation

NAEA flag     alt.   YAM 2015 Awards at the NAEA Conference, New Orleans.  
NAEA 2019 - Flag award winner &co-chairs        2017 YAM Awards at NAEA

alt.  alt.   alt
YAM Co-Chairs with the flag at NAEA 2013;  YAM Award Winners at NAEA 2012
Contact Us

Got questions? Contact YAM chairs
Donnalyn Shuster and Heather McCutcheon at [email protected]