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Artists of all ages and skill levels, from Middlesex and Hartford counties, may submit work online for this annual art exhibit; it is free to register and offers cash prizes for winning work


HARTFORD — As they say in the arts, “The show must go on!” And this year is no exception for the Community Renewal Team’s (CRT) 30th Annual National Arts Program® (NAP) for artists of all ages and skill levels, from Middlesex and Hartford Counties who are invited to submit their work now for the 2021 art show, which for the first time will be entirely virtual.

To accommodate the safety needs of the artists, judges, and guests who will view the artistic work submitted, this year’s National Arts show will be hosted in an online gallery format.  Artists will have the opportunity to submit photographs of their work to be exhibited via a virtual art gallery and CRT plans to host an online awards reception to celebrate all of the winning work – exact time and additional details will be announced.

All forms of visual arts may be submitted to the show; from paintings and photographs to sculptures, crafts and textiles. Up to two entries may be submitted per artist and they must be the original work of the applicant and completed within the last three years. This year, CRT encourages participants to consider creating or submitting art that is related to their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Artists can submit their work for free to this show. By removing the financial and commercial requirements of most exhibitions, this special show creates a sense of community and artistic fulfillment for all participants.

Judging of the submissions to the National Arts show this year will take place at the end of March, and winning artists will be notified in early April.

Cash prizes will be awarded in each of the following categories:

  • Amateur – an adult with little or no experience
  • Intermediate – an adult with some experience, beginning art students, etc.
  • Professional – an adult with serious art training or employed in an art-related job
  • Youth (12 Years and younger)
  • Teen (ages 13 – 18)
  • Teens Looking Out for Teens (ages 13 – 18) – in this special category, individual teenagers or groups of teens can submit a piece of art that evokes a greater understanding of the social issues affecting teens.

The final category – “Teens Looking Out for Teens” is being offered for the third year in a row, following the previous success of this special category for up-and-coming artists. 

This year we will be using the online platform to exhibit photos of the art submitted to the show. The exhibit will be online and available to the public starting on March 26, 2021. The gallery link will be available for sharing, and CRT encourages artists to share their work in the show with friends and family.

To register for the show, please use the National Arts Registration form:

Please Note: After you complete this registration form and click the ‘submit registration’ button, you will receive an automatic confirmation email. In that email message, there will be a link to a webpage where you will upload your art image file. On that webpage, there are also tips and tricks on how to take the best photograph of your art in order to meet the set standards for acceptable art image files. Your registration is complete when you have received an email from us confirming that your art image file was accepted.

Complete details about how to submit your artwork to CRT’s 30 Annual National Arts Program show are available online:

The National Arts Program provides materials and funding for this visual art exhibit including awards for winning work totaling $3,450.



All prizes are determined by a panel of judges with experience in the arts. Prizes will be awarded by classification:

  • Adult (Amateur, Intermediate and Professional) – There will be three First Place Awards of $350; three Second Place Awards of $250; and three Third Place Awards of $150.
  • Youth / Teen – There will be two First Place Awards of $150; two Second Place Awards of $100; and two Third Place Awards of $50.
  • A Best of Show Award in the amount of $400.
  • An Art Education Award for $200.
  • Honorable Mention Ribbons will be awarded at the discretion of the judges.

Awards are limited to one cash award per artist per classification.

Be sure to ‘like’ CRT on Facebook to get the latest information about the 2021 National Arts Program. For more information, please contact Irene Mackey at or call 860-519-4384.

Editor’s Note: High-Resolution pictures of winning artwork from the 2020 National Arts Program show in Hartford are available to accompany stories about this event.




Community Renewal Team, Inc. is the designated Community Action Agency for Middlesex and Hartford Counties and is the largest non-profit provider of human services in Connecticut. The agency’s mission is Preparing Our Community to Meet Life’s Challenges. The mission is achieved each day by helping people and families become self-sufficient while making sure basic needs are met. CRT’s programs include Meals on Wheels, school readiness, energy assistance and weatherization, supportive housing and shelters, and many others, serving people in more than 60 cities and towns in both our core catchment area and throughout Connecticut.