2011 Sister Cities International Young Artist and Authors Showcase Winners Come to Tempe

Tempe Sister Cities and Hackett House are proud to host  this years winners of the Sister Cities International(SCI) Young Artist and Authors Showcase December 2-4, 2011 during the Tempe Arts Festival.  Four local artists and authors from Phoenix and Scottsdale are also part of this years international winning entries.  For over two decades, the Young Artist and Authors Showcase has given youth from around the world the opportunity to artistically express their visions for a more unified, peaceful world.

This year, young artists and authors reflected on the theme, “Shaping Your Community for a Greener Future,” through a variety of visual media, poetry, and essays.

Applicants from all over the world submitted 45 visual art pieces and over 50 essay and poetry submissions. In addition to the United States, Canada and Mexico, SCI’s young artists and authors included submissions from Europe, Asia and Africa. The high level of talent, effort, and dedication put forth by sister city youth from around the world was evident in this year’s applicant pool.

“This year’s competitive program goes beyond illustrating excellence in student artistic expression,” said Jim Doumas, executive vice president and interim CEO for Sister Cities International. “It shows the dedication and passion that youth have as the next generation in the citizen diplomacy movement.”

The selected visual and literary works of art are an impressive body of work. A showcase of the top ten works of art can be viewed at Tempe Sister Cities Hackett House located at 95 West 4th Street in downtown Tempe during the Tempe Arts Festival December 2-4, From there, the exhibit continues its year-long international tour of sister city communities throughout the SCI network.

From the top ten in the Young Artists Showcase, one international and one domestic piece of art were selected as overall winners. “Clean Environment, Better Future” by Wilson Seyram Akude from Tema, Ghana, has been selected as this year’s international winner. Tema is a sister city of San Diego, California. “Green Future” by Russell Mank of Lakeland, Florida has been selected as the domestic winner. The eight additional finalists represent Japan, Northern Ireland, China, and the United States. A full listing of this year’s finalists and images of their work is available on our website at http://www.sister-cities.org/programs/yap.cfm.

Among the Young Authors Showcase submissions, Azza Cohen, of Highland Park, Illinois, was awarded first place for her essay, “The Ultimate Travel Souvenir: Bringing Sisu to 60035.” Ashley Loe of Santa Clara, California was awarded first place within the poetry category for her work, “Keeper of the Compost.” The international grand prize winner for Poetry is Sandor Febrete from Debrecen, Hungary, sister cities with New Brunswick, New Jersey. SCI also awarded runners-up and third place honorable mentions in both the essay and poetry categories. Zachariah Webb of Phoenix, Arizona received the runner up award in poetry and Skylar Cohen from Scottsdale, Arizona received the runner up award in the essay category. Nika Korchok Wakulich of Scottsdale, Arizona and Frea Mehta of Phoenix, Arizona received honorable mentions in the poetry and essay categories, respectively. Tempe Sister Cities and Sister Cities International is very proud of this year’s collection of visual and written works which will be on display at the Hackett House during this years Tempe Art Festival. The literary works of art can be read on our website at http://www.sister-cities.org/programs/youth/yas.cfm.

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