News Release

February 20, 2015

Chicago Zoological Society to Celebrate Cesar Chavez with Launch of Art Contest in his Honor
Special Celebration Planned at Brookfield Zoo for March 28

Brookfield, Ill.—The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, is inviting 6th to 12th grade students in Illinois to participate in “Words of Cesar Chavez,” an art contest reflecting the spirit of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers and their commitment to improving the standard of living, wages, and working conditions of farm workers through nonviolent social action.

Accepted mediums for artwork are one or a combination of the following: watercolors, acrylics, pastels, colored pencils, crayon, collages, or ink. (Photography, letterpress, or digitally created artwork of any kind will not be accepted.) One entry per person. All entries must be received by the Society on or before March 13, 2015. Entries will be judged based on their creativity, originality, and overall reflection of the subject. Original entries will not be returned.

Artwork should include one of the quotes of Cesar Chavez listed in the Official Rules, which can be viewed at Students are encouraged to create artwork about how his/her own positive actions and the actions of others, such as in community service, and their connection with wildlife and nature, could keep this legacy of commitment alive in their schools, communities, and/or the world. 

Cesar Chavez inspired farm workers and millions of people who never worked on a farm to commit themselves to social, economic, and civil rights activism. Cesar’s legacy, like the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., continues to educate, inspire and empower people from all walks of life. He is a role model for all Americans and for generations to come. To learn more about the United Farm Workers, go to

Only original, unpublished artwork created solely by the entrant will be accepted with a properly completed entry form. Artwork should be submitted to “Words of Cesar Chavez,” Art Contest, Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield, IL 60513. To download an entry form and for further information, go to

Winning entries, along with other select entries, will be on display in Brookfield Zoo’s Discovery Center through April 10, 2015. The event is sponsored by the Society’s Arcoiris group, whose mission is to achieve organizational excellence through diversity.

Art contest winners will be recognized during a celebration at Brookfield Zoo’s Pavilions on Saturday, March 28, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event will also feature live musical performances by the reggaeton duo Geo y Lui "los Twinz" and the Chicago Mariachi Project. In addition, there will be up-close encounters with some of the zoo’s ambassador animals and interactive activities for all ages, courtesy of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (UIC), No Manches Clothing Co., and Youth Crossroads.

The Society also commemorates the late Latino activist Cesar Chavez by encouraging students to participate in community service such as planting a garden, cleaning up a park, or volunteering in a community organization of their choice. Additionally, everyone is invited to visit the State of Illinois’ website at to learn about the Cesar Chavez Learn and Serve Program. “During the week of March 31 (Chavez's birthday), schools, agencies, and community organizations may participate in this innovative program to encourage community service by our young people while serving as an educational tool for history, social studies, environmental, and art
classes. Students across Illinois will learn the importance of community service by addressing hunger issues, volunteering at nursing homes, cleaning up parks and planting gardens.” (State of Illinois website)

The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, inspires conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for Brookfield Zoo's innovative, naturalistic, multispecies exhibits and for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. For further information, visit  Open every day of the year, the zoo is located off 1st Avenue between I-55 and I-290, and is also accessible by I-294, Metra, CTA and PACE buses.

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Sondra Katzen
Public Relations
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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