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Congressman Emanuel Cleaver

Representing the 5th District of MISSOURI

Winner of the 2017 Fifth Congressional District Art Contest

Apr 19, 2017
Press Release

(Kansas City, MO) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II is pleased to announce Grant Smits of Grain Valley High School as the winner of the 2017 Fifth Congressional District Art Competition. Grant’s painting entitled, “Redwoods“ will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol. He will also receive two airline tickets to attend a reception in Washington D.C. where he will join first place winners from other Congressional Districts across the U.S., a Kansas City Art Institute full tuition Pre-College Art Lab Scholarship, and a partial scholarship to Savannah College of Arts and Deign in Savannah, Georgia.

Grant is a high school junior and in addition to art, he enjoys computers and music. He created his own computer game and was a percussionist his freshman year. His proud parents are Dwaine and Danielle Smits. Grant is one of six siblings. His teacher, Lauren Snodgrass, was also presented with an award at the competition. She received a free “art educator” class at the Kansas City Art Institute.

Students who also placed at the art contest included:

2nd Place Winner; Nayoung Kwon, The Barstow School

3rd Place Winner; Linda Xu, The Barstow School

4th Place Winner; Daniel Garcia-Roman, Lincoln College Preparatory Academy

5th Place Winner; Jocelyn Sands, Lee’s Summit High School

Honorable Mention; Kayla Garrett, Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts

“Congratulations to Grant and to all of the winners this year. The art was truly amazing and it will be an honor each day to walk through the Capitol and see Grant’s painting hanging there,” said Congressman Cleaver.

Each year, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in each congressional district. This year, 270 entries from high school students in the Fifth District were submitted in the competition, “A Voyage of Artistic Discovery”.

For more information, please contact Heather Frierson at 816-842-4545 or

Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, and also a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here.