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Kansas 4-H Tip Sheet

May 14, 2021

Changes to Visual Arts Project Area for Kansas State Fair 2021

Submitted by Aliah Mestrovich Seay

This article is being written to outline changes to the Visual Arts project area that impacts the 2021 Kansas State Fair. First, as the 4-H Youth Development Specialist charged with the Visual Arts project area, I would like to detail the changes occurring to Visual Arts for the Kansas State Fair that have resulted in a deeper level of engagement and opportunity to dialogue with the local Extension professionals. We take your feedback to heart and appreciate the opportunity to refine the Visual Arts project pathway in meaningful ways. We value feedback about how these changes might impact local 4-H programs. At present, the goal of these changes, fundamentally, is to support the stimulation of individual creativity with different artistic mediums as well as the learning about the preservation of intellectual property both as important youth development skills.

Copyright Considerations

For the Kansas State Fair Judging this year, all 4-H Youth will be evaluated. They will not be disqualified for copyright violations, but exhibits may not be permitted to be put on public display (please refer to the judging score card for further reference). As such, Kansas 4-H will be introducing a guide for copyright considerations in Visual Arts state fair exhibits. This document will help illustrate the following: 1) Understand when author acknowledgement and approval is necessary. 2) How to request from the author permission to display and 3) What written “permissions to display" exhibitors are to bring to local judging of exhibits. Please note that this is a pilot period and will be a time to educate and clarify what Kansas 4-H copyright policies and procedures will be from now on.

Local Unit Suggestions & Relaxing Visual Arts Quota for KSF 2021

We understand that change is stressful. For this year, the State Fair Committee will be relaxing the quota per class in Visual Arts in the hopes that this can make it an easier transition for agents at the local level. The quota per unit will still be five but this does not have to be per Visual Arts class. In the upcoming years, we are confident that youth will be able to enter into the five different Visual Arts classes so that there is one representation of each that can be submitted for judging at the Kansas State Fair. It may be easier this year to judge at the local level per your local level judging guidelines and then select the Visual Arts with the Kansas State Fair in mind after local level judging is completed. Then, any changes to your fair book at the local level can occur to be more aligned with Kansas State Fair guidelines to be in effect for 2022. If you need of any support with this transition, we are happy to meet with you specifically to provide other ideas and strategies for navigating this pilot/transition year.

What about Pinterest?

Please note that it is completely acceptable to draw artistic inspiration from Pinterest or any other internet source. What we want to emphasize is the responsibility of youth exhibitors to credit the work of others when it influences their project-based work. Together, we can help them work through the project steps. 1) Determine if/what is potentially someone else’s work or copyrighted 2) Determine the source. Where did this project idea come from? Who authored it? 3) Make a request. Write a letter to request permission to display. 4) Upon approval, display properly. Appropriately source the author and show or verify permission to display to the judges.

When an identified issue related to copyright arises, we, as a system, want to support youth in the process of crediting the original work and asking permission to display. It is true that at present, there is contradictory information in the Kansas State Fair Book about copyright information/policy. The State Fair Committee has been notified and they will be modifying that for other project areas in the future with the focus on realignment and consistency across project areas.

Thank you!

We appreciate your proactive and committed approach to providing feedback about enhancing this project area. We would like to continue to work together to continue to develop the educational merit of our project areas so we can create more consistency and alignment across the board. For questions about the Visual Arts project, please contact Aliah Mestrovich Seay at aliah@ksu.edu.