Drug Free Poster Contest

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Over 30 years ago, the “Drug-Free Art/Calendar” contest was designed to involve children, from kindergarten through high school, in an effort to educate the nation’s youth on the dangers of substance abuse. With the support of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Rural Housing Services, the scope of the competition has increased dramatically and now includes Elderly, Disabled and Special Needs residents. The art/calendar contest is an activity that not only helps to ensure the health and well-being of our residents, but it also goes a long way toward maintaining a positive public perception of your property and community. The project is sponsored by AHMAs throughout the country and NAHMA.

Entries are judged on the artist’s ability to create a submission with the contest theme. While the general purpose of the program is to promote being drug free, the theme for artists to portray on their poster changes each year. This year, the theme is: SHARING OUR STORIES - LEARNING FROM OTHERS, YOUNG AND OLD. Judges consider: INTERPRETATION of the theme Sharing Our Stories - Learning from Others, Young and Old; ORIGINALITY of submission; QUALITY: Is the artwork submission appealing to the eye; OVERALL ARTISTIC ABILITY: Does the artwork submission show some degree of creativity and skill for its age group; REPRODUCTION: Can artwork be reproduced with reasonable quality and clarity.

2019 is a new start for the contest and with it comes new contest rules. See the changes below:


Winners will be selected from across the southeast with a First, Second, and Third Place ranking per category. Categories include:
•Kindergarten - 1st Grade
• 2nd Grade - 3rd Grade
• 4th Grade - 6th Grade
• 7th Grade - 9th Grade
• 10th Grade - 12th Grade
• Elderly / Disabled/ Special Needs


$400 prize with winner plaque

$200 prize with winner plaque

$100 prize with winner plaque


Winner’s property will receive a $100 prize to host a celebration for the community to honor their winner.

Winning posters are sent to NAHMA to be included in the National Contest. National winners will be featured in the 2020 NAHMA Calendar and will receive separate prizes as designated by NAHMA.


1. All Contestants submitting artwork must be a resident of a community that is currently a member of SAHMA.

2. While we encourage community activities to brainstorm the theme and contest rules, entries must be created by the individual without assistance.

3. The five grade categories for children are based on the grade level the contestants will have completed by June 2019:
· Kindergarten - 1st Grade
· 2nd Grade - 3rd Grade
· 4th Grade - 6th Grade
· 7th Grade - 9th Grade
· 10th Grade - 12th Grade

4. Elderly participants are residents 55 and over who live in a SAHMA community. Disabled participants are residents of any age who live in a SAHMA community. Special Needs participants are residents of any age living in permanent supportive housing or an 811 community. Participants under 18, will be considered with their peers in the grade-level categories.

5. Artwork must be submitted on a 22 in. x 28 in. poster board  or heavy art paper (portrait or landscape layouts accepted). 

6. Any medium may be used (paint, crayons, colored pencils, collage, etc.) but must be protected against damage.

7. Use this year’s theme as the focal point of the poster to convey a positive message.

8. Including the words “AHMA Drug Free Kid” or any other drug free message is NOT MANDATORY.

9. Use of cartoon characters, product brands, logos, individual names or property names is not permitted. Do not include the child’s, property’s, company’s or SAHMA’s name on the front of the poster

10. A Participant Information Form and NAHMA RELEASE FORM must be completed, legible, and attached with tape to the back, upper right-hand side, of each submission. Incomplete forms will make submissions ineligible. Elderly/Disabled & Special Needs forms do not require age, birthday, school or parent information.

11. All posters submitted to the SAHMA Office become the property of SAHMA and NAHMA, who have the right to use the art for publicity, publications and advertisements. POSTERS WILL NOT BE RETURNED.

12. All entries MUST be received by the SAHMA Office no later than FRIDAY, March 15, 2019

13. Prize and Plaque will be mailed directly to each winner. 

14. Call the SAHMA office at (800) 745-4088 with any questions or concerns.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Submission Instructions: 
Please click here to download contest instructions

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Advertise the Drug Free Kids Art Contest at your Community by downloading the file below:
Drug Free Art Contest Community Flyer (editable PDF)

2019 Calendars are Now Available

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