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Reflections is a national PTA-sponsored program

The PTA Reflections Program is an arts recognition and achievement program.   In its nearly 50-year history, the program has encouraged millions of students across the nation and in American schools overseas to create works of art for fun and recognition. Reflections provides a venue for students to create and be recognized for original works of art based on a yearly, nation-wide theme.  Students of all ages and abilities can experience the benefits of creative expression and help in finding their own voice in telling their unique story.

National Theme

The 2018-2019 theme is Heroes Around Me.   Students are asked to create art focused on this theme.

Student Requirements

At least one person from the primary household of each entrant must be a current member of the Mills PTA.

Art Categories

Students can submit as many entries in as many categories as they like.

  • Dance choreography – Solo and ensemble works of all dance styles are accepted. Entrant must be the choreographer and may also be the performer, or one of the performers. If background music is used, cite it on the entry form. Video file must not exceed 5 min. and 1 GB in size. Accepted formats: AVI, FLV, WMV, MOV, MP4.
  • Film production – Accepted short film styles include: Animation, narrative, documentary, experimental or media presentation. Use of PowerPoint is prohibited. Entrant must be the screenwriter, cinematographer, editor and producer. If background music is used, cite it on the entry form. Video file must not exceed 5 min. and 1 GB in size. Accepted formats: AVI, FLV, WMV, MOV, MP4.
  • Literature – Accepted forms of fiction and nonfiction include: Prose, poetry, reflective essay, screen play and play script, narrative, and short story. Entrants may write in their primary language as long as an interpretive English translation is also attached. Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. Writing must not exceed 2,000 words and may be handwritten or typed. Accepted format: Single-sided on 8 ½x11” paper.
  • Music composition – All music styles and combinations of instrumentation are accepted. Entrant must be the composer and may also be the performer, or one of the performers. Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. Audio file must not exceed 5 min. and 1 GB in size. Accepted formats: MP3, WMA, WAV, ACC, FLAC. Printed Notation (score/tabulature) are not required.
  • Photography – Photo must be a single print. Collages and collections of photos are not accepted. Entrant must be the photographer and may use a variety of digital editing techniques including but not limited to, multiple exposure, negative sandwich and photogram. Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. Print image dimensions must be no smaller than 3×5 inches and no larger than 8×14 inches including mat. Framed prints are not accepted.
  • Visual arts – Accepted forms of visual art include: 2D original print, drawing, painting, collage (cut and pasted materials such as clippings and photos), metal etching or punch work, fiber work or computer-generated artwork. Frames and artwork containing loose materials are not accepted. Matting is accepted. Dimensions must not exceed 24×30 inches, including mat. Paper entries must be mounted on sturdy material. 3D objects (i.e. beads, pasta, etc.) glued to artwork is not permitted. Artwork must be 2D.*

*Note these guidelines are specific to Texas PTA. While other states are incorporating additional 3D art mediums, Texas PTA has made the decision to only accept 2D Visual Arts entries.

Grade Divisions

Entry Dates

Entries are due Monday, October 15, 2018.  Entries should be placed in the box labeled Reflections in the front office.

Entry Requirements

  • Student must fill out an entry form (found in the front office or here) for each entry.
  • Entry must include a title and artist statement.  The artist statement communicates what inspired the work, how it relates to the theme, and the content of the work. The statement must include 10-100 words.
  • Entries must be the student’s individual creativity (adult help is prohibited except for Special Artists)
  • Each entry must be the creative product of 1 student even though other individuals may appear in the work
  • Use of copyrighted material is prohibited, except for recorded music in dance choreography and film production entries


Entries will be judged on interpretation of the theme (worth 20 points), artistic merit (worth 12 points), and mastery of the medium (worth 8 points).  A well-developed concept is more important than technique. Entries will be judged primarily on how well the student uses his or her artistic vision to portray the theme. Many times, the artist statement will make a huge difference during judging because this is where the artist can explain in their own words, their thoughts and feelings for their piece.

Recognition and Advancement

All students who participate in the program will be recognized by Mills. A recognition Celebration will be held prior to November 15, 2018 (time and date TBD).

Additionally, the top entries in each category (approximately 20%) will advance to the Austin Council of PTAs.  Entries that win at the Austin city level will be entered in the Texas-wide competition, and finally on to the nationwide competition.

For more detailed information read the official Participation Rules

Note: there is one change to the official rules – CDs and DVDs are not acceptable forms of submission.  All submissions must be on a USB thumb drive / flash drive / memory key / thumb drive

For additional questions, contact Kathy Adelson at

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