Creativity Promoting Change


Emma Santangelo

Sophomore Madeline Strom’s artwork was inspired by Martin Luther King showing that change can erupt from one person.

Emma Santangelo, Writer

Activist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., consumed the world in the fifties and sixties by promoting the importance of equality during the Civil Rights Movement. The prominence of his message continues to inspire millions of people today.

Our own Loyola Academy community contributed to keeping his legacy alive by holding a MLK Art/Poetry Contest.

Freshman EJ Maggit inspired by King’s “I Have a Dream” speech wrote a captivating poem about King’s message. Similar to social justice movements today involving race, King experienced, “riots, people being arrested, police brutality, and he still had that dream, that ambition,” Maggit observed.

The videos of King’s marches and speeches were a part of what inspired his piece. He focused on conveying the pain and suffering people of color endured and relayed, “I just had to put those words on paper to actually see it.”

Maggit spoke out about injustice to get people talking about inequality, “I hope people respond in a positive way and help motivate each other to create change.”

Sophomore, Gina Li, felt compelled to submit artwork explaining, “I had to express my thoughts on an important historical figure.” Li was immediately drawn to King’s line about children being judged upon “the content of their character.”

She represented this quote by drawing children from all different ethnicities and backgrounds in her work. The children are seen in black and white portraying that they are equals.

Li addressed that “Children represent innocence,” and their impressionable minds often differ from close minded adults.

Participant Madeline Strom, a sophomore at Loyola made art that portrays a man with open arms looking up into the sky. She added, “I tried to create a feeling of freedom with the character.

Strom selected a quote from King that emphasizes how one event can begin a whole revolution. She illustrated how a strike of lightning is so much more than that one strike. “It is so powerful and bright, just as one person or an idea that can spark change in society,” Strom exclaimed.

Her depiction of King’s message relates strongly to Ignatious. Strom believes, “They both inspire us to ‘go forth and set the world on fire.’”

Participant Katie Bennet announced, “Art can be a beautiful vessel for the awareness; stunning, gentle, persistent.” Her piece contains King’s message of asking yourself what you are doing for others.

King’s message is represented in a gold hand filled with words of hope,“I added the golden gleam to his face and eyes to represent the other hand seeing potential of what human decency should be,” Bennet stated.

Bennet worked to create a universal message, “Most people could relate to at least one word on the hand in need.” She hopes this will promote people to see we all face hardship, but as King believed, it is our responsibility to help all in need.

Martin Luther King’s message of unity, hope, and justice inspired all of the participants to create art and poetry to promote his ultimate goal of equality.