Toyota Financial Services (TFS) announces its 6th year of hosting the worldwide Toyota Dream Car Art Contest in the United States, which is designed to inspire creativity in youth and encourage an interest in the automotive industry. Starting Saturday, October 1, 2016 thru Tuesday, January 31, 2017, U.S. youth, ages 4-15, are invited to submit hand-drawn artworks featuring unique concepts of their “Dream Car.” Applicants are sorted into three age categories (4-7 years; 8-11 years; 12-15 years). Judging is based on three criteria: execution of concept; uniqueness; and artistry.
“Every year, it’s exciting to see how youth around the world envision the future of transportation,” said Mike Groff, President & CEO of Toyota Financial Services. “I find it inspiring to see young people incorporate social responsibility into their designs, dreaming of cars that help clean the ocean, end homelessness, and provide mobility to those who are physically challenged.”
In the spring of 2017, nine U.S. winners will be selected. Once accepted and awarded, their artwork will be submitted, along with entries from over 80 countries, for consideration in the World Contest. Thirty World Winners plus their parents or guardians receive a trip to Japan to participate in an awards ceremony in August 2017 during which four additional awards are announced per age category: Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Best Finalist. This past year, 11-year-old Michael Zhou of Ann Arbor, Michigan, whose artwork “Handicap-Friendly Cleaning Car” won the U.S. Gold Award, was selected as one of 30 World Winners to go to Japan. He ultimately placed as “Best Finalist” in his age category for the 9th World Contest.
As in years past, Toyota divisions and affiliates are encouraging young people across the country to participate. This year, an exhibition leading up to the artwork submission period will be on view at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Displays will also be on view this fall at Toyota USA Automobile Museum and John Elway’s Crown Toyota Scion in Ontario, California.
HISTORY OF THE WORLD CONTEST: Last year, over 875,000 entries from more than 81 countries were submitted by youth, ages 4-15, around the world to their local presentations of the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest. Of these, over 700 artworks were submitted for World Contest judging in Japan. The first global contest was held in 2004 by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan with the dual goals of inspiring children to understand the importance of having a dream while, at the same time, encouraging them to become interested in cars by designing “Dream Cars” of their imagination. This year marks the 11th World Contest and the 6th year of the National Contest that is run in the United States for Toyota by TFS. Nine U.S. Winners are selected by a national panel of judges who review artwork by 30 U.S. Finalists. Finalists are selected by Toyota team members nationwide from a pool of 90 U.S. Semi-Finalists.