Celebration of the Humanities Contest 2021

45th Annual Celebration of the Humanities Competition will open in Spring 2022

Please view our winners from 2021


Recordings from Awards Ceremonies

Art and Photography Virtual Art Gallery: April 5, 2021 - May 3, 2021 3D Virtual Art Gallery or Exhibition Catalog
44th Annual New Music Concert: Friday, April 9, 2021 at 7:00pm - click here for link
Film Awards: Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 5:00pm - click here for link
Writing Awards: Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 7:00pm - contact Jim Beggs for recording of event
Art and Photography Awards: Thursday, April 15th, 2021 at 5:00pm - click here for link
Expressions of Social Justice Awards: Friday, April 16, 2021 at 5:00pm - click here for recording of event
Dance Awards: April 23 and 24 at 7:00pm: Click Here for 4/23 event / Click Here for for 4/24 event



44th Annual Celebration of the Humanities Competition Spring 2021

The 2021 Celebration of the Humanities Contest invites all Modesto Junior College students to submit their creative and academic work to any of our 26 contests, which range across 9 different categories.

With $300 of prize money granted in each contest, the Celebration of Humanities awards more than $7,800 a year directly to students.

Click Here to see works from our 2021 Winners

The Celebration of the Humanities was the brainchild of Bob Mognis, Dean of the Literature and Language Arts Division. In 1977, with the support of instructors Bob Gauvreau, Shirley Woodward, David Dow, Jim Johnson, Ken Allen and Dan Petersen, the Humanities Contest was launched. From its modest beginnings-eleven total contests in the categories of Writing, Music, Art, Speech, and Photography the Humanities Contest has grown to comprise nineteen contests in nine categories. In time, with a wider vision of its potential, the Humanities Contest became the Celebration of the Humanities. For years the Celebration’s faculty steering committee was coordinated by Dan Onorato; later by Richard Serros, Mike Sundquist, Flora Carter, Deborah Barr, Chad Redwing, Jim Beggs, David Dow, Aishah Saleh and most recently Trevor Jackson.

Fundraising has been essential to maintaining the Celebration. A small amount of money comes from nominal entry fees, but donations from individuals are the largest source of support. Some donors choose to contribute for specific prizes or in honor or memory of a specific person. The MJC Foundation has provided generous additional financial assistance, and we so very grateful for them. Since Bob Mognis’s vision has become a reality, there have been hundreds of  students who have grown in confidence and purpose because they were honored for their excellence.

Contest Rules

Eligibility: All MJC students are eligible to enter all categories. All entrants must be or have been enrolled in at least one class at MJC during the 2020-2021 academic year (including summer 2020).
Professionals cannot enter in their area of expertise.
Students who have not enrolled in an MJC course by February 1, 2021 will not be eligible to enter the Celebration of the Humanities contest.

Registration: A $10.00 Entry Fee is required of all participants. Payment of the fee allows students to submit multiple entries to multiple contests, subject to the limitations of the individual contests. Students entering multiple contests need only pay the fee once. Visit our ticket website to pay your entry fee under the event labeled "Celebration of the Humanities 2020-2021 Entry." If you have any questions, please call the Arts Division office at 209-575-6081.

In the event that a contest is cancelled, students will receive a refund of their entry fee

Limitations: Payment of the fee allows students to submit multiple entries to multiple contests, subject to the limitations of individual contests. However, participants may not enter a contest in which they have placed three times. All entries must be original unpublished works (unless otherwise noted) and cannot be under contract. Original works can be adaptations, but must be presented as such. A minimum of five entrants in most contests is required for a competition to proceed.

Liability: Every reasonable effort will be made to safeguard the entrant’s work. However, Modesto Junior College, its staff, consultants, and volunteers are not responsible for property loss or damage through fire, theft, or any other cause. The Celebration of the Humanities Committee reserves the right to publish the winning entries for promotional purposes related to the Celebration of the Humanities Competition. By submitting an entry, the student agrees that the Celebration of the Humanities has the right to disseminate all works in any way deemed appropriate by the committee as long as the student receives credit for their work.

Judges: Judges are selected by the Celebration of the Humanities Committee. The decisions of the judges are final. All winners are encouraged to attend the various festivities at which contest results will be announced. 

Checklist for Entry

  • Pay your $10 dollar entry fee on the ticket website and pay under the event labeled "Celebration of the Humanities 2021 Entry." If you have any questions, please call the Arts Division office at 209-575-6081.
  • Complete an Entry Form and Submission

Registered work(s) for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 must be submitted no later than 5:00 PM on Friday, March 19, 2021. A copy of the registration receipt is required to submit with each contest.

Categories and Contests

Celebration Festivities

Donations - Help support the Arts! 

The Celebration of the Humanities Contest is supported primarily by individual donations, which have helped to maintain the over contest over the past four and a half decades. Some donors choose to contribute for specific prizes or in honor of a specific person.

If you are interested in making a tax deductible donation to The Celebration of the Humanities please call the Arts, Humanities & Communication Division at 209.575.6081 or email Jacquelin Wingett.

You may also click here to make an online donation through the MJC Foundation. Please select the Arts, Humanities & Communications Division!


Steering committee Chair: Trevor Jackson Art Category Contact: Chelsea Gilmore
Dance/Choreography Category Contact: Kim Davis
Film Category Contact: Trevor Jackson
Comic Book Category Contact: Theresa Rojas
Expressions of Social Justice Category Contact: Trevor Jackson
Music Composition or Performance Category Contact: David Dow
Photography Category Contact: Noah Wilson
Theatre, Monologue Category Contact: Lynette Borrelli-Glidewell
Theatre, Playwriting Category Contact: Michael Lynch
Writing Category Contact: Jim Beggs

All other inquiries:

Email MJC Celebration of the Humanities
Arts, Humanities, and Communications Division: 209-575-6081
Literature & Language Arts Division: 209-575-6149