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County residents can win cash in Montana Meth Project's art contest

| May 19, 2023 7:00 AM

Lincoln County residents entering the Montana Meth Project’s Paint the State 2023 art contest have the opportunity to compete for cash prizes thanks to the generous support of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation.

Prizes totaling more than $100,000, including three $10,000 grand prizes, will be awarded to the top submissions. One winner could win up to $20,000.

Registration at PaintTheState.org is open to all Montanans 13 and older through May 31.

The Meth Project launched Paint the State 2023 earlier this year as a much-needed on-the-ground drug prevention initiative. The contest invites everyone 13 years of age and older to create monument-sized original public works of art that inspire vibranta drug-free lives, while incorporating the Meth Project’s “Not Even Once” message.

Lincoln County teen participants will compete in the Glacier Country division and for the top teen statewide prizes; adult participants will compete statewide. Registration is currently open in teen and adult divisions at PaintTheState.org.

“We are proud to champion this program in promoting drug-free lives,” said Mike Halligan, executive director of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation. “As the drug epidemic threatens the futures of our youth, families and communities, we encourage all Montanans to engage in Paint the State. Create an entry, offer a location for an art installation or donate supplies. We can all contribute and make a difference.”

To compete for a total of 45 cash prizes, participants must register by May 31, 2023, and install their artwork by June 30, 2023. Artwork must be installed within state boundaries.

Teen entries will compete for three statewide prizes at $10,000, $5,000 and $3,000 as well as 30 additional prizes ranging from $3,000 to $500 in six regional competitions. Adults will compete statewide for eight prizes spanning from $10,000 to $500.

Additionally, all entries will compete through public online voting for three People’s Choice Awards including the People’s Choice Grand Prize of $10,000.

Judging and public online voting will take place over the summer, and the Meth Project will announce the winners in late summer.

“This incredible partnership with the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation cannot come at a more critical time as the rising use of methamphetamine is putting more Montana lives at risk,” said Amy Rue, executive director of the Montana Meth Project. “We believe in the power of large-scale public works of art to heal and inspire. When our ‘Not Even Once’ message is spread across the state, it is a constant reminder that there is always a brighter choice to live without Meth.”

Paint the State is open to individual and group entries. The contest is an impactful community outreach project for youth groups, service organizations, treatment and recovery groups, as well as individual artists.

More information about the contest guidelines, prizes and registration is available at PaintTheState.org. Businesses and landowners interested in offering public locations for art installations or donating supplies can email info@montanameth.org.

Paint the State is supported completely by private funding. The $508,000 grant from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation supports Paint the State prize money and the program’s educational outreach in and outside the classroom stirring peer-to-peer conversation about the risks of Meth use.

The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation joins the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation, Gianforte Family Foundation, Stockman Bank, Town Pump, Gilhousen Family Foundation and Pennmont Foundation in supporting the drug-prevention program. Donations can be made to support the program at MontanaMeth.org.

The Montana Meth Project is a large-scale prevention program aimed at reducing first-time teen meth use through public service messaging and community outreach.

The nonprofit was founded in 2005 by businessman and philanthropist Tom Siebel as a private-sector response to Montana’s critical public health issue.

Named the third most effective philanthropy in the world by Barron’s in its global ranking, the organization has been credited with significant declines in teen Meth use.