Marx Layne conceptualized a student art contest—McDonald’s Celebrates Black History Moments on Canvas. The program engaged metro Detroit high school students to learn in a fun way about the history and heritage of people of African descent and their significant accomplishments and contributions to world and American history. At a time when school budgets were less focused on the arts, the McDonald’s program spotlighted art as a tool for expression and learning.
Recognizing this was a new program, built from the ground up, Marx Layne coordinated significant stakeholder outreach to educators, youth organizations and churches to create awareness and excitement about the art contest, and encourage art submissions.
Marx Layne identified a local art gallery to partner on the program, serving as one of the judges of the entries and also as venue for an exhibit of the winning artwork.
The gallery exhibit was launched with a VIP reception honoring the student artists, their teachers and families. Local McDonald’s owner/operators, community leaders and media were invited to attend the reception applauding the students’ talent and accomplishments. In addition to having their artwork featured in a month-long gallery exhibit, the students each received a cash award.
Marx Layne conducted media relations announcing the art contest and call for entries, as well as pitching profile stories about the winning student artists