contest rules

Two of Uniting Through History’s key principles are Unity and educating and reinforcing the fact that Black history is American history by providing creative ways for people to connect with the experiences and contributions of Black Americans. 

The residents of Buxton were an extraordinary example of Black and white people living and working together in peaceful productivity, and serve as a unique example in American history. Similarly, the Hip History Contest seeks to unite young people to share Buxton’s history and gives young Iowans and beyond the opportunity to learn about an overlooked part of history. The Hip History Contest brings the early 20th century town of Buxton, Iowa alive through the arts.

Overview

Middle school (6th – 8th grade) and high school (9th – 12th grade) students are invited to enter the Hip History Contest! Entrants will bring the early 20th century town of Buxton, Iowa alive by submitting their creative and educational interpretations of an excerpt from Creating the Black Utopia of Buxton, Iowa. Entries, which must be in the form of a video, must be original work created by the student. Examples include a song, poem, art piece, dance routine, monologue, story, a scene—whatever the student can come up with. While talent is a plus, creativity is more important. Check out last year’s winners and all the entries to see what others did.

Entries will be posted online and later narrowed down to finalists by Uniting Through History team members. A panel of successful judges will then vote for the top three winners in each middle and high school category.

Need ideas? Check out our Ideas and Resources page. Ready to Enter? Use the Contest Checklist before you enter.

PRIZES

Hip History Contest First Place winners received a 30-minute Zoom meeting with the contest judge of their choice, in addition to a monetary prize. While smaller prizes will be awarded to various entrants throughout the contest, the major prizes are listed below.

MIDDLE SCHOOL

1st Prize: $2,000 scholarship

2nd Prize: $500 cash

3rd Prize: $250 cash

HIGH SCHOOL

1st Prize: $2,000 scholarship

2nd Prize: $500 cash

3rd Prize: $250 cash

Contest Schedule

February 1, 2022Contest officially begins. Students are able to enter.
February 9, 2022—
April 27, 2022
Entries are posted to the Entries page every Wednesday.
April 27, 2022—
May 4, 2022
Uniting Through History team members select three (3) middle school, high school, and college student finalists.
May 4, 2022
May 18, 2022
Judges select middle school, high school, and college student winners.
May 18, 2022
May 31, 2022
Winners are notified via phone and email. First place winners are interviewed.
June 1, 2022Winners names and videos posted. First place winner interviews are posted.
June 1, 2022Contest officially ends.

Rules

Eligibility: The Hip History Contest is open to students in middle school (6th – 8th grade) and high school (9th – 12th grade) students. Students must be enrolled in these grades at the time of entry. If the contest is extended into the summer, for the purposes of this contest, the student will be deemed to be in the same grade they were upon entry.

Judging Process: Each Wednesday, entries received by the previous day (Tuesday) will be posted. At this point, there is no judging. The only way an entry would not be accepted is if one or more rules were not followed. If the reason the entry was not accepted was minor and/or easily correctable, we will attempt to let the entrant know so they can fix the problem and resubmit the entry, if desired. Under no circumstances will we provide feedback on content. A week prior to winner selection by the judges, Uniting Through History team members will select the top three entries in the middle school, high school, and college categories. The judges will then select the winners.

Judging Criteria: The following criteria (and their associated weights) will be used in judging entries:

  • CREATIVITY (25%): Did you share the history of Buxton in a unique and interesting way?
  • EDUCATIONAL (25%): Did the viewer learn about Buxton after watching your entry?
  • INCLUSIVITY (30%): Did you include the contributions, experiences, and/or history of Black Americans in your entry?
  • INSPIRATIONAL (20%): Does your video inspire people to want to learn more or take action after watching?

There is no judging criteria for following submission instructions. Videos that do not meet the basic requirements of beginning with the correct video introduction, followed by the required beginning paragraphs from the excerpt, and then including at least three (3) facts from the excerpt will not be posted. Nor will entries with excessive grammatical errors. See FAQS for details.

Submissions: Detailed submission requirements can be found in the Hip History Contest Submission Checklist. At a high-level, all videos must:

  • be three (3) minutes or less in length
  • be less than 500 MB in size
  • contain an introduction that shows the contest information
  • start with the following words, extracted from Creating the Black Utopia of Buxton, Iowa: “Once upon a time, in a state that was 99.3 percent white and “foreign born” was the town of Buxton, Iowa—a town of 5,000 where 55 percent of the population was black. The year was 1905.”
  • include at least three (3) facts from the excerpt
  • be submitted via the entry form with required information

Need ideas? Check out our Ideas and Resources page. Ready to Enter? Use the Contest Checklist before you enter.

FAQS