History of the Drawing Online competition
In 1996 the editorial staff of the foreign broadcasts of Czech Radio needed some pictures for a web page that was being created. Thus they announced a drawing contest for children. This is how the Drawing Online competition originated.
Its task was to obtain drawings with motives from Czech history that would illustrate the first database of information about the Czech Republic for foreigners on the Internet. The competition was a huge success with children, their parents and their schools. The drawings were very funny and inspirational and of a high quality. That is why the competition was also repeated the following year, and that is how it became a tradition.
When the first year of the competition was announced, there were no similar activities and computers were not as widespread in households as they are now. Thus children were able to “get their hands on” a computer at the exhibition, try to scan pictures and see their work transformed into pixels right before their very eyes.
Thus Czech Radio founded a tradition that appeals to children in their broadcasts, on the web and also in events for the public. Hundreds of children and their parents participate in the exhibition's opening event every year. It is of great importance for handicapped or hospitalised children.
The importance of the competition:
It has been seen that the competition motivates children, meaningful activity negates negative influences such as a consumer approach to life, a lack of discipline, intolerance, emotional flatness, inconsiderateness but, on the other hand, strengthens the sense of obligation and responsibility. It teaches them tolerance to handicapped children. Last, but not least, the educational effect of the competition should be mentioned.
Themes of the individual years
2011: Fables, Fairy Tales and Legends
Another popular theme, the children painted one fairy tale character after another. The level of the work that is sent in gets better each year. It is not easy for the professional panel of judges to decide. The opening was accompanied by a rich programme in cooperation with Centrum Narovinu, which organises long-distance adoption, among other activities. Thus children could learn about the lives of their peers in Africa.
2010: From our Grandmother’s Trunk – the 15th Annual Awards
We received thousands of beautiful works of art from all around the world, and not only by mail. Some children or their teachers brought their handicrafts in person so that the valuable work was not broken! Thousands of works of art came to the competition from all over the world. Children from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Indonesia, India, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Denmark, Lithuania, Belarus and Africa sent in works to compete. The opening took place in the wonderful environment of a park bathed in sunlight and extending around the Kinský Summer House. Long before it opened children could play in the prepared competitions for small prizes, paint, tie-dye, dance, pick up the awards that were ready for all the invited children or view the exhibition.
2009: Journeys of Discovery and Adventure
Once again the endless children’s fantasy was expressed and we received three and a half thousand works of art on the theme of inventions and inventors. The Public Award was given out for the first time – all the visitors to the web could vote from twenty selected works of art and determine the winner. The exhibition was held in the beautiful environment of Portheimka, which gave it an atmosphere but did not hold back the playfulness of the whole exhibition. Throughout the exhibition there were workshops for visitors and the possibility to use the playroom of the local Family Centre for parents with small children.
2008: My Private Dream and the special What Radio Means to Me (the 85th anniversary of Czech Radio)
Children from practically all around the world participated, even from Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China and India. The desire to fly, to go scuba diving or raise horses were among the children’s artwork, but there were also more serious themes like health, having a brother walk, getting a new wheelchair or for mommy to live again. Children from Africa longed primarily for education, which they expressed by their dream to get employment as teachers, drivers or pilots.
2007: Music and Me
Around 4000 works of art were received this time as well. Pavel Šporcl played on his renowned blue violin at the gala opening of the exhibition in the Museum of the Capital City of Prague. He was also a member of the honorary panel of judges who evaluated the final work.
2006: Pictures for Moja
The theme was based on Czech Radio Leonardo’s multimedia “Revealed” project. Here cameras followed a gorilla family in the Prague Zoo. The children were to draw the young gorilla Moja and her family or gorillas in the wild that need to be protected. More than 400 works of art were received, even from exotic African countries, Indonesia, Finland and Russia.
2005: My Best Art – open theme
In the 10th anniversary of the competition the children could send in art that they liked the best, that they think was their best work of art. The competition was presented at the international EBU (European Broadcasting Union) seminar and it also saw more foreign participants.
2004: My Best Friend
Once again the children drew their parents, friends, animals and hobbies - for example their favourite book. They did not forget about music and sports either.
2003: What’s Important in the World
According to children it is the family, friends, their hobbies and also mutual tolerance. The first competing artwork was received from Indonesia.
2002: A Wonderful Journey
The children created a world of boundless fantasy, nature without ecological problems and with animals. They often used exotic themes, countries they had never visited or fantastic landscapes. Once again the competition supported a seriously ill child, a boy suffering from Crohn’s Disease.
2001: On the Wings of Fantasy
The handmade work category was added. This theme was very inspirational for the children, who could imagine the far future and its inventions, discover new animals, flying machines as well as a machine for transforming bad human traits into good ones. The blind girl once again met with success and as a special prize a seeing-eye guide dog was arranged for her. The cooperation with children's homes and other facilities also grew. The auction raised the annual financial contribution to a children's home, which used it for various areas of its activity (a contribution to a ceramic kiln, a trip to the sea for their health and a contribution to a safe house). This year, in cooperation with actress Naďa Konvalinková, children placed in foster homes connected to the Rozum and cit Foundation also participated.
2000: My Home – Online
The first international year, which became part of the Prague – City of Culture 2000 project. Children from Slovakia, Italy, Germany, Poland and Finland, for example, sent in their artwork. The two best authors were chosen from each country to participate in the opening ceremony with the Czech children, obtaining their awards in the National Technical Museum in Prague. This was also the first year a blind girl in a wheelchair sent in her artwork. The girl was awarded for her efforts at the opening, which was a great help to her psychologically.
1999: My Home – Online
Cooperation with UNICEF began. Hospitals also got into the act, sending works of art from children with long-term hospitalisation. If the children could not come to the grand opening, they had the opportunity to see their work in the newly-created gallery of award-winning work on Czech Radio’s website.
1998: My Home – Online and the special What Radio Means to Me (in honour of the 75th anniversary of radio broadcasting)
This theme was very close to children. We were buried under a pile of beautiful work with natural motifs or drawings of Prague, Písek and other towns and cities. The best work was a historical radio concealing ceramic figurines inside – representing the moderators of the individual shows. The exhibition travelled around the country for the first time and it also saw the first charitable auction of the winning works. The proceeds went to the Home for Mentally and Physically Handicapped Children in Otrokovice, which was hit by the floods.
1997: History – Online
Czech history remained the theme in the second year of the competition as well. Personalities started to cooperate in the roles of honorary judges for evaluating the works of art. There were lots of changes going on at the time and that was also reflected in the children’s work. They drew, for example, the separation of Czechoslovakia, Václav Havel’s wedding with Dagmar Veškrnová or the Rolling Stones’ visit to Prague Castle.
1996: History – Online
Children painted and drew pictures from Czech history.