2ToyMakersThe Westport Arts Center knows that there are no better experts when it comes to toys and games than kids! Our fifth annual Toy Makers Competition invites young designers ages 5-12 to submit their ideas for new and innovative toys.

The competition is a great opportunity to encourage the young artist or designer in your family to showcase their creativity and vision.

Each child may submit up to three design concepts that reflect their creativity and imagination.  Both traditional and electronic games are acceptable, but designers should be able to explain how an electronic game could be developed.

The judges for the competition will be members of the community with proven success in business, art and design.  They are looking for toy designs that are a) unique, original and imaginative, b) easy to use and understand, and c) can be recreated and produced in a real life scenario.

“The Toy Makers Competition is always a highlight in our youth education season,” said Lindsay Heffernan, Director of Education for the Westport Arts Center. “Not only do participating kids show their creativity, but also their ingenuity and problem solving skills as they consider just what they love about toys and what makes one fun.”

Finalists in the competition will present in a “Shark Tank”-like environment to the panel of judges at the Westport Arts Center’s Family Art Day event on March 20th from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Each toy designer will describe their inspiration, how their toy works, and why they believe it will be a successful toy.  Children will present independently while parents and friends wait outside the interview room.1

Winners will be selected and announced at Family Art Day, with prizes awarded in three age groups: Ages 5 – 6, Ages 7- 9, and Ages 10 -12.  First place in each age group will win a scholarship to a Westport Arts Center summer camp of their choice.  Second and third place winners will also receive special prizes to be announced in March.

Complete eligibility and guidelines include:

  • Children ages 5 – 12 are eligible to submit up to 3 designs.
  • Submissions will be received beginning Jan 25, 2016.
  • Submissions must be created on 8.5 x 11” paper.
  • Three-dimensional creations must be photographed and printed on 8.5 x 11” paper.
  • Descriptions can be attached to the back of designs.
  • All participants must have parental consent.
  • Toys do not need to be recreated for the presentation, but finalists may make a prototype if they wish.
  • Finalists must be present at Family Art Day to win.

An entry fee of $10 is required per child. Entry form, payment and submissions are due by 5 p.m. on March 5, 2016.  Finalists will be notified March 15, 2016. Winning entries will be shared on www.westportartscenter.org and other Westport Arts Center promotional materials.

For more information, please contact the Westport Arts Center’s Education Director, Lindsay Heffernan, at 203/222-7070 or lindsay@westportartscenter.org.  Entry forms and additional information can be found at www.westportartscenter.org.

About the Westport Arts Center

The Westport Arts Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting community through the arts, reaches more than 11,000 people annually through outstanding programs in visual arts, arts education, and the performance arts of Chamber music and jazz.

The Westport Arts Center also receives philanthropic support from 4th Row Films, the Aibel Foundation, the Arnhold Foundation, Artur and Heida Hermanns Holde Foundation, Inc., Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Bernstein Global Wealth Management, Borrowed – A Vintage Inspired Company, the Brant Foundation, CBP, Cannupa Foundation, the Carl Marks Foundation, Cohen and Wolf, P.C., the Connecticut Office of the Arts, EC Infosystems, Finn Dixon & Herling LLP, Fairfield County Bank, Fairfield County Community Foundation, Festivities, Gault, Energy, Geiger’s, GWAY Marketing Gymnasium, the Hall Art Foundation, KD & J Botanica, Land Rover Milford, Landtech, Lillian August, LLBH Private Wealth Management LLC, Madison/Mott, Main Street Resources/Green Village Initiative, Meadow Ridge, the Mitchell’s Family of Stores, Moffly Media, Newman’s Own Foundation, Riverside Management Group, Saugatuck Sweets, the Shack Sackler Foundation, the Sheffer Family Foundation, Sontag Advisory LLC, Stamford Tent, Steel Shed, Sun Hill Foundation, Thomas C. Hofstetter and Daniel Baron of The Saugatuck Group, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, Westport Family Counseling, Westport Now, Westport Resources, Westport Special Education PTA, William J. Rosenbloom Charitable Trust, Xerox Foundation, WPKN, WSHU Public Radio Group, and Yellowtail.


For more information, contact the Westport Arts Center at (203) 222-7070 or www.westportartscenter.org.   The Westport Arts Center gallery is open Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 51 Riverside Avenue, Westport, CT.


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