Attention High School Art Teachers: Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square Announces Materials Matter Amazing Art Challenge for NYC Students

NEW YORK (Oct. 1, 2012)Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square has partnered with New York City Art Teachers Association/United Federation of Teachers (NYCATA/UFT) to challenge New York City area high school students to push the limits of their imagination to create outrageous and unconventional pieces of art.   

Grand Prize Winner Receives Trip to Orlando, Artwork Featured at Ripley’s Times Square,
$1,500 School Donation for Art Supplies, and More

“The Materials Matter Amazing Art Challenge is intended to expand students’ definition of art while allowing

Located in the Heart of Times Square

 teachers to go beyond traditional lessons in the classroom,” said Michael Hirsch, president and general manager of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to partner with NYCATA/UFT to support education and the hard working teachers who dedicate themselves to cultivating today’s youth.”

Launching October 14, 2012, students from participating NYC classrooms are encouraged to submit artwork that utilizes odd and bizarre materials or traditional materials in an innovative way. All entries must exemplify the “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” standard of being unusual and/or unique. Believe It or Not! (BION) creations currently displayed at the museum include a gumball portrait of the president, clothing made out of egg beaters, statues constructed from car parts, and much more.

Submissions will be accepted from October 14, 2012 through April 5, 2013.  The competition will be narrowed down to six finalists.  The six finalists will then appear at a live event at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square in June where first, second, and third place prizes will be selected and awarded by a panel of NYCATA/UFT and Ripley’s Times Square judges. Judging criteria includes creativity, uniqueness, and consistency with the Ripley’s brand.  

“Together with Ripley’s Times Square we are challenging the most creative and artistic minds that New York City high schools have to offer,” added Joan Davidson, president of NYCATA/UFT. “We can’t wait to see how they put their imaginations to work to meet Ripley’s ‘unusual’ interpretation of art.”   

All participating students will be recognized and one grand prize winner will receive a trip for two to Orlando to tour the Ripley’s warehouse, artwork showcased at Ripley’s Times Square Odditiorium, free class trip to Ripley’s Times Square (up to 40 students), commemorative Ripley’s “showcard”, artwork featured on the Ripley’s New York website and social media channels for a month, and potential purchase by Ripley Entertainment and inclusion in the annual Ripley Entertainment book.  The school of the grand prize winning student will also receive a $1,500 grant for art supplies. 

From October 14- November 18, 2012, NYC art teachers who register their class to participate will receive two complimentary passes to Ripley’s Times Square Odditorium to explore the museum, and gather ideas and materials including lesson plans to incorporate the contest into their curriculum. Each student that submits an art entry will receive free admission to the Odditorium and a 40 percent discount for up to five guests.

The Materials Matter Amazing Art Challenge is open to high school students grade nine through 12 in the five New York City boroughs. Teachers must pre-register their class in order for students to participate.     

Teachers can register at or contact Jessica Arroyo at 212.398.3133. For more information, visit   

About Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square

Located in Times Square in the heart of New York City, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium brings people of all ages face-to-face with the world’s most unbelievable curiosities.  With 18,000 square feet of astonishing artifacts, exclusive oddities, exciting interactive exhibits and heart-stopping sideshow performers, this one-of-a-kind attraction welcomes visitors to experience the unusual and unexpected, where the entire family will rediscover wonder around every corner.  Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square is open from 9:00am – 1:00am. For further information visit

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About Ripley Entertainment
Ripley Entertainment Inc. (, keepers of the venerable Ripley’s Believe It or Not! brand, is a global leader in location-based entertainment, entertaining more than 11 million annually at its 80 attractions in 10 countries.  In addition to its 32 Believe It or Not! Odditoriums, the Orlando, Florida-based company has publishing, licensing and broadcast divisions, best-selling books and the popular syndicated cartoon strip, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, that still runs daily in 42 countries. Ripley Entertainment is a Jim Pattison Company, the third-largest privately held company in Canada. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and Odditorium are registered trademarks of Ripley Entertainment Inc.


The New York City Art Teachers Association is the sole professional organization for art educators in New York City and Region 8 of the New York State Art Teachers Association.  Our members include K-12 public school art teachers, common branch and special education licensed teachers, non-public school art teachers, art administrators, and university and museum art educators with expertise in sculpture, photography, film, fashion, advertising, architecture, drawing, painting and other visual arts.  The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) sponsors NYCATA as a professional committee dedicated to the visual arts (


Gina Sisco
Redpoint Marketing PR, Inc. or

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