Brighter Days

Imagine Brighter Days

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Need to imagine brighter days? Please visit the hundreds of pieces of art created by our talented local youth and now on display on our virtual Art Gallery . With over 500 entries, our judges are currently in the process of selecting 5 winners for each of our grade groupings. Winners will be published in the Press Democrat on Sunday October 11.

As summer comes to an end, the coronavirus continues to keep us apart and distant from our normal lives and interactions. This is an uneasy, emotional time and the recent fires have created even more stress for many of us.

It’s an especially worrisome time for our youth, many of whom now find themselves facing not only uncertainty because of the pandemic, but also the inability to return to school this fall. They are missing friends, clubs, sports, teachers, and all the advantages of learning alongside peers in a classroom. These are challenging times, but we believe brighter days are ahead for Sonoma County communities.

Brighter Days Partners

Collaborating Partners

Art Contest

With that in mind, The Press Democrat, wants to engage and uplift students from kindergarten through high school by inviting them to create and share their original artwork. Along with several partnering organizations and supportive local businesses, we are launching an art contest for Sonoma-area children and teens called, “Brighter Days” and will invite local youth to submit images of their paintings, drawings or graphic designs based around this theme.

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ALL submissions will appear in an online art gallery at so our entire community of readers can view and enjoy them.

We encourage that submissions are made through our website. If you do not have the ability to enter online, you may drop off your entry at one of the following public library locations in Sonoma County:

  • Roseland (779 Sebastopol Road)
  • Healdsburg (139 Piper Street, Healdsburg)
  • Sonoma Valley (755 West Napa Street)
  • Petaluma (100 Fairgrounds Drive)

The four library locations will be able to accept entries between 10 am and 3 pm, Monday through Saturday. Visitors should call the library via the phone number posted outside the building when they arrive. Staff will bring out a box to offer the parental release forms, the stapler and pen. This will also be done via curbside pickup table; the interaction with the visitor is by phone only due to the social distancing protocols.

Brighter Day Contest Rules: English | Spanish

Printable Parental Consent Forms: English | Spanish

Five Winners from Each Grade Grouping

Five winners will be selected from each of these four grade groups: TK – 2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

Each of the 20 winners will receive a $75 gift card from Mary’s Pizza Shack, and a certificate of Artistic Achievement.

Winners will have their art published in a special “Brighter Days” publication on Oct 11 in The Press Democrat.

The “Brighter Days” publication will also appear in the Sonoma Index-Tribune, and the Petaluma Argus-Courier. Some honorable mention entries may appear in the “Brighter Days” publication. Winners’ artwork will also be available for viewing in select merchant windows along Fourth Street in Santa Rosa.

Submission Guidelines

  • The minor entering must be a resident of Sonoma County
  • Entries must be original artwork
  • The art must be created using an 8.5 x 11 format
  • Parent or adult guardian must fill out the entry form on behalf of their participating student, for each submission
  • Parents may upload up to 3 submissions for each student
  • The artwork should be inspired by the theme, “Brighter Days”

It’s up to the kids to interpret the theme and create their own vision!

Entries that do not follow the rules and guidelines, or are past deadline, will not be eligible.

The contest will begin on Wednesday September 9 and the deadline for entries is 5:00 pm PST on Friday, September 25, 2020.

Brighter Day Contest Rules: English | Spanish

Printable Parental Consent Forms: English | Spanish