April 25, 2013

Ten Teens Win Expressions of Freedom National Art Competition

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Art is just one way to explore your national parks during National Park Week (April 20-28, 2013).  The National Park Service, in partnership with the National Park Foundation’s African American Experience Fund, announced this week the winners of the Expressions of Freedom National Art Competition.  Ten teenagers from communities around the nation have won scholarships and national recognition for their art commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The competition is an example of the creative ways in which arts can be used to connect youth to history and explore relevance for today, as described in Call to Action #10 Arts Afire.

Ten winners and eight honorable mentions were selected from more than 250 student submissions in three categories: photography, poetry and digital short films.  Students between the ages of 13-18 years were challenged to answer the question, “What does freedom mean to you?”

The first place winners are:

Arianna Martinez, 17 years old from Tuscon, Ariz. for photography;


Evan Gedrich and Joshua Peace, 16 years old from Brick, N.J. for digital short film;


Afoma Okoye, 17 years old from Kennesaw, Ga. for poetry.


Dreams Too Sweet

Each night my heart beats a thousand times.
I Fear it will stop at night
Because my dreams are too sweet
It doesn’t rain and the sun always shines. (Cont.)


The nationwide student artistic competition offered youth an opportunity to connect with the many national parks that tell the stories of the nation’s journey from Civil War to civil rights. Competitors used their art to explore the enduring themes of our nation’s struggles for freedom and equality for all.

To see the full list of winners and honorable mentions, please visit: aaexperience.org/expression-freedom-contest-winners.  For more information on the Expressions of Freedom competition, please visit: www.nps.gov/nama/forkids/expressions-of-freedom.htm.



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