Create 4 Freedom Contest

4 freedoms festival

The CREATE 4 FREEDOM ℠ Contest 2018 offers students the unique opportunity to test their own creativity and problem-solving abilities.

THE MILL, in association with the 4 Freedoms Festival, LLC, is proud to announce the CREATE 4 FREEDOMSM℠ contest, which challenges today’s high school students to examine the meaning of freedom in 2018. This arts education initiative is a highlight of the 4 FREEDOMS FESTIVAL ℠, scheduled for July 2018.


In June 1941, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued their Atlantic Charter, in which they described four essential human rights: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear.

At home, in Arlington, Vermont, the legendary artist Norman Rockwell was inspired. Rockwell was too old to enlist, but he wanted to make a statement in pictures about why Americans were sending their boys to war. His wife suggested he “paint the ideas, not the words.”

One night, Rockwell attended an Arlington town meeting. One of his neighbors (a very likeable farmer) stood up and spoke. Everybody in the room disagreed with the man’s opinion, but no one interrupted. After all, in America, everyone has the right to freedom of speech. Norman was, once again, inspired! He decided to illustrate “The Four Freedoms” in everyday American scenes, using his Vermont neighbors as his models.

The Saturday Evening Post published “The Four Freedoms”—and long before the term was used—the images went “viral.” The four paintings became iconic images. And it all happened because an Arlington farmer had the courage to stand up and proudly speak his mind at a town hall meeting. While Norman Rockwell’s four paintings remain legendary, the time is ripe for young artists and poets to personally interpret the essential meaning of these freedoms and how they impact our society today.

“It is no longer Prime Minister Winston Churchill, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or Norman Rockwell’s task to inspire the world with these four freedoms. Now we look to our youth.”
– Joshua Sherman, MD
Founder 4 Freedoms Festival℠


Students must be in 9th, 10th, or 11th grade during the 2017–2018 school year.

Each student must choose one of the Four Freedoms (Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Want, or Freedom from Fear) and create a new work of art or poetry that expresses how and why that freedom is relevant in 2018. All students should ask themselves, “Why is this freedom important to me?” and “How can I interpret this one freedom in words or image?” Submissions may be humorous, satirical, or dramatic. The works will be judged on their artistry, creativity, thoughtfulness, and intelligence. 

Deadline for entry is 4pm on March 22, 2018. Finalists will be announced in April 2018. An awards ceremony honoring the winners will be the centerpiece of the 4 FREEDOMS FESTIVAL ℠.

To review all information and to download the official CREATE 4 FREEDOM℠ entry form, visit

For more information, e-mail us at [email protected].


the mill east arlington

Housed in Remember Baker’s original gristmill and surrounding buildings, THE MILL is a creative campus focused on connectivity, innovation, and collaboration. At THE MILL, history, the humanities, the arts, education, and community all unite.

The building’s original purpose was to refine wheat into coarse grain (grist) and then into flour. THE MILL’s newest purpose is to assist young creatives in refining their talents and skills—and to allow established artists to redefine themselves by exploring new creative territory in a safe space.

Approximately 3.5 hours from both Manhattan and Boston, THE MILL is an inspiring setting for artists, writers, performers, musicians, innovators, inventors, and historians to develop new works and to share their ideas. It is an ideal environment for them to build collaborations with peers and to serve as mentors through youth education initiatives.

Once a meeting place for The Revolutionaries, THE MILL is now a meeting place for both young and established creatives to collaborate and develop revolutionary ideas in the arts and humanities!

The Mill, Inc. is a not-for-profit, tax exempt, 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions to The Mill, Inc. are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. For more information about The Mill, Inc., contact The Mill, Inc. 316 Old Mill Road, Arlington, Vermont 05250, phone 802-430-7116. The Mill, Inc. is registered with the Office of Attorney General, Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271. A copy of our latest financial report may be obtained from The Mill, Inc.