Call for Entries: Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes for Art Criticism 2021

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes for Art Criticism 2021 



To encourage the practice of art criticism and to broaden its reach to a wider public, the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes present potential writers with the opportunity to contribute articles on art to a national newspaper and an international art magazine.

With the theme “Navigating Crisis: Arts and our Futures,” the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes invite essays that reflect on crisis. The theme however, is largely honed by the protracted pandemic and its effects on various aspects of life, including arts and culture. For many individuals and sectors of the Philippine society, the repercussions of the said crisis remain to be acutely felt. While the development of vaccines for COVID-19 has shed some hope in surmounting the pandemic, many things remain uncertain. To be sure, the crisis has effectively exposed the fragility of life, the instability of cherished relations and previously held assumptions.

In response to the diverse entries received from the AAG x KLFI Essay Writing Prize, the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes will have English and Filipino categories. A panel of jurors will shortlist a maximum of six (6) writers from each category. From these lists, winners will be selected by the editors of the partner publications. Winners will be announced during the Ateneo Art Awards ceremony scheduled in August 2021.

Two winners will be selected from the English category. The winner of the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize for The Philippine Star will be awarded a regular column under ‘Platforms’ in the Arts and Culture section of the paper, to be published once a month with a total of 12 articles for a year. The winner of the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize for ArtAsiaPacific will be contributing to this bi-monthly publication, with a total of six (6) articles for a year. From the Filipino category, one winning writer will have his/her entry published in The Philippine Star in August 2021.

In addition to the opportunity to have their written work published, one of the winners will be selected and offered a month-long writer’s residency at Orange Project in Bacolod. The residency will give the winning writer an opportunity to immerse and interact with local art communities in the Visayas.


1. Employees, whether full time or contractual, of the Ateneo Art Gallery, Ateneo de Manila University, or Kalaw Ledesma-Foundation, Inc., are not allowed to participate.

2. Must be based in the Philippines.

3. Bloggers defined as writers of online journals, websites, or whose written work is published in electronic social media may join.

4. Writers who have been shortlisted in the past for the PKL Prize may still submit entries.

5. To avoid conflict of interest, the participants must not have a regular column and must not hold an editorial post in any broadsheet or local/international magazine. Regular columnists are not allowed to join but contributors, defined as any person whose written work is published with a byline but not identified as a columnist, may join.


1. Entries should be essays with no more than 1,000 words.

2. Entries must reflect the theme of the Program. The theme of the Program is Navigating Crisis: Arts and our Futures. While this is open to interpretation, the following questions may serve as a guide:

a. How do we navigate a crisis?

b. How might our values change in the process, including what we deem as essential and non-essential?

c. How have artists responded to crisis and how have their works evoked a sense of urgency or intimated the shape of art to come?

d. While still in the thick of this global pandemic, how do artists and cultural workers imagine the future? What might we gather from these imaginings?

3. The entry must be written on A4 sized paper. The font should be Arial, Times New Roman, or Book Antiqua, font size 12.

4. Entries must be submitted digitally as Word and PDF file attachments with no indication of the identity of the writer on the documents.

5. Entries must be submitted at by uploading the following file formats with the title of the entry as filename:

a. Entry in Word document format

b. Entry in PDF format

6. Only one original entry is allowed per participant. The essay should not have been published before in any printed or online platform. Any entry that has been submitted for consideration in any other writing contest before 31 August 2021 will be disqualified.

7. Deadline for submission of entries will be on 13 June 2021 (Sunday), 11:59 PM.

Copyright of the works of the shortlisted writers (including the winners) shall be held by the writer jointly with AAG and KLFI.