The Shmita Prizes

On September 6th, 2021 / Rosh Hashanah 5782, with the heralding of the Jewish New Year, the Jewish people will enter the shmita year in our cycle of the seasons. Jewish tradition teaches about a shmita year occurring every seven years, a time of release with Biblical and contemporary applications to our relationships with land, food, debt, work/rest, equity and more.

Jewish tradition is rooted in ritual objects, texts, music and practices that facilitate both a personal and collective engagement with the Jewish cycle of the year. At Hazon and with our international partners, we are harnessing the power of the arts to explore the intersection of the shmita wisdom teachings with contemporary Jewish life. The Shmita Prizes award artists and creatives – from all levels of experience and age groups – for works of art that bring into focus the relevancy and application of shmita values in our contemporary world. These art works will offer creative avenues with which to prepare for, mark and engage with the shmita year.

The Shmita Prizes web page will house a living archive of the creative responses submitted. This shmita creative arts library will serve as a source of inspiration, while building a global network of Jewish artists committed to engaging with the teachings and values of shmita. A committee of professional artists will select one artist in each category to be awarded $1800 with three additional awards of $250 each.

The Shmita Prizes Invites Works in the Following Artistic Categories

Submissions will be received until midnight on May 19th, 2021.

The first 360 submissions will receive a digital download of the 5782 Shmita Jewish Calendar Planner.

Shmita Prizes FAQ

Each category will award one artist $1800 and three other artists $250. At least one awardee in each category will be 18 or under.
A panel of professional artists will review the work. We are assembling a panel now and will post the judges on the website.

We encourage folks to participate as broadly as they can by submitting work in more than one category.

No, not in cash.  But the cultural and social award is great.  We encourage folks to participate as broadly as they can.  Think of this as an opportunity to show the world what you’ve got!
We welcome artist submissions from individuals and groups. Please indicate appropriately on the submission form.
You do NOT need to be a professional artist to apply. We are looking for a broad range of experience and your artwork will gain broad exposure on our website.
We have a category for 18 and under. Mark the appropriate box in your submission form. In each artistic category, at least one prize will be awarded to an artist under the age of 18.
The Shmita Project website is full of information about shmita and there are learning opportunities as well.  We will inform anyone on our mailing list about upcoming webinars, workshops, podcasts, new articles etc.

Submissions will be received until midnight on May 19th, 2021.

We will begin to announce awardees on July 10th.