skip to content
Primary navigation

Governor's Blog

Lt. Governor Tina Smith, State Capitol Grand Opening Planning Committee Announces State Capitol Grand Opening Essay Contest

3/2/2017 12:57:57 PM

K-12 students prompted to describe in their own words what their Minnesota’s State Capitol means to them
Authors of winning entries invited to read works at grand opening festivities in August
ST. PAUL, MN – Lt. Governor Tina Smith and the State Capitol Grand Opening Planning Committee today announced a statewide essay contest celebrating the historic Minnesota State Capitol. Essay contest winners will be invited to share their essays as part of the State Capitol Grand Opening festivities in August. Minnesota students in grades K-12 are encouraged to submit essays explaining how the State Capitol has shaped our collective past and will impact future generations.
“Our beautiful State Capitol is the place where we come together to share ideas and make decisions about what we want to do together for people in Minnesota. It is a living monument to democratic government and our rich, diverse state,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “Every day that I walk through the doors of this brilliant renovation of the Capitol, I feel blessed. In celebration of this remarkable three-year renovation, I invite Minnesota students to write about what the State Capitol Building means to them, to our state's history, and our shared future.”
Winners of the essay contest in elementary school, middle school, and high school categories will be invited to share their short essays during the grand opening festivities during the weekend of August 11-13, 2017.
“The restoration of the Minnesota Capitol brilliantly recaptures the beauty of its original design while modernizing the building to serve future generations,” said Administration Commissioner Matt Massman. “This essay contest will provide students from around the state an opportunity to describe what the State Capitol means to them in a way that embodies that sense of history and captures the richness diversity of today’s Minnesota.”
About the State Capitol Essay Contest
The re-opening of the historic Minnesota State Capitol is an opportunity for Minnesotans from every corner of the state and all walks of life to celebrate “My Minnesota Capitol.” As part of the re-opening festivities, Minnesota students are asked to consider the following prompts and craft an essay about one of them:
·         My Minnesota Capitol. Your Minnesota Capitol. Everybody’s Capitol. Everyone who works or visits the Capitol uses and views it in different ways. What does the Capitol building mean to you? What do you think it represents for Minnesotans from different backgrounds, and why is it important to remember that the Capitol building is designed for every Minnesotan?
·         A Place to Remember History and for History in the Making. Many historical and symbolic moments have occurred at the State Capitol, and it will be the site of more history-making events in years to come. What is one of the most important events that occurred at the State Capitol? How do you think our state Capitol will continue to serve Minnesota as our state keeps changing, and what do you think might occur at the Capitol that will impact the future of Minnesota?
The essay contest is open to Minnesota elementary, middle and high school students in the following age categories: Grades 3 – 5, Grades 6 – 8, and Grades 9-12. The top essay at each level will be recognized at a program at the State Capitol on August 12, 2017, where the winning students will be invited to share their essays with fellow Minnesotans.
Winners in each category will also receive a $1,000 Minnesota College Savings Plan, sponsored by the University of Minnesota and TIAA, the financial services company that manages the Minnesota College Savings Plan.  The Minnesota College Savings Plan is a 529 account that helps families save for future higher education expenses.
Essays will be reviewed by the panel: Lt. Governor Smith, Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, Administration Commissioner Matt Massman, Sen. Carla Nelson, Rep. Mary Murphy, and Dana Badgerow.
How To Submit An Essay
Each essay must contain the student’s name, school, home address, phone number and current grade on the front page or cover sheet. Middle and high school entries must be typed in a 12-point font, double-spaced on white 8.5-by-11-inch piece of paper. Elementary school entries may be handwritten. Essays should be 250 words or fewer, and will be judged on creativity, clarity, content and adherence to the theme.
All essays must be received via email or postmarked by April 28, 2017. Entries should be mailed to the Minnesota Department of Administration, c/o Kathy Morgan. 50 Sherburne Ave, Suite #200, St. Paul, MN 55117. Entries also may be emailed to:
For more information about the essay contest and the Capitol Grand Opening Celebration, please visit:
Back to List
back to top