2021 Young Artists and Authors Showcase (YAAS)

Submission Deadline: May 1, 2021

For decades, Sister Cities International has leveraged the power that art has to transform societies and transcend cultural boundaries through the Young Artists and Authors Showcase, or YAAS. The Showcase has given youth worldwide the opportunity to express their vision for a more unified, peaceful world through original art and literature.

This year’s theme will be “United in Hope”.

Sister Cities International aims to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation – one individual, one community at a time. The COVID-19 pandemic is a unique phenomenon in that it has affected every country around the globe. However, as is common in tragedy, hope shines through for those who persevere. Hope is a uniting force during this time as people struggle to cope with its ongoing effects and once again start to imagine a life without social distancing or wearing a mask. Indeed, the younger generation is capable of dreaming of a human existence that is even more dynamic, more advanced, and more resilient than ever before.

Students should explore the following questions through the lens of citizen diplomacy and include creative ways that we stand together looking toward the future.

How can the next generation of citizen diplomats help communities respond during and after the pandemic?

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In what ways does international experience affect an individual or community’s ability to stay hopeful?

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What are some examples or illustrations of coming together and celebrating our hope in humanity and its future?

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What are some unique ways that your city, country, or culture has proven to be hopeful during the past year?

Please read the following details carefully, as our rules and awards have changed slightly from previous years.

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Students must be between 13 and 18 years of age at the time of the 2021 deadline.

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The student must be affiliated with a dues-paying member of Sister Cities International or an international community partnered with a dues-paying member. (If you have any questions regarding your affiliation with a dues-paying member of Sister Cities International, please contact youth@sistercities.org)

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No more than five (5) submissions per category will be accepted from each member community. (International community partners are also eligible to submit no more than five (5) submissions per category.)
Note for Sister City Contact Persons: Please provide a list of your (up to) five (5) participating students and their submissions organized by category to youth@sistercities.org

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Member communities with more than five (5) entries are encouraged to form their own local competitions and submit the top five (5) to Sister Cities International.

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No student may enter submissions into more than one category.

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All entries must meet the criteria listed below.

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All entries must conform to Sister Cities International’s policy on plagiarism found here.

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All entries must be submitted and received with a completed application by May 1, 2021. Submit entries by uploading them along with the application below.

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Photographs of all artists’ work (in the case of the Musicians Showcase, artists’ names and names of the pieces) will be published to Sister Cities International’s website.

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One artist will be selected as a Grand Prize Winner, 2nd Place Winner, and 3rd Place Winner for each category.
International wire transfers available for winners in countries outside the United States.
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Each category’s Grand Prize Winner will receive $1,000.

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Each category’s 2nd Place Winner will receive $250.

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Each category’s 3rd Place Winner will receive $100.

Note: Winners may be subject to completing a W-9 form for tax purposes per IRS rules.

The winners of each category will be announced at the virtual Youth Leadership Summit tentatively scheduled for August 12-13, 2021

There are six (6) categories, or showcases, in all:

Artists
Showcase

  • Students may select one (1) piece of artwork to submit for this showcase.
  • Media accepted in this category include oil, acrylic, watercolor, charcoal, colored pencil, crayon, ink, marker, etching, collage, etcetera. 
    Important note: This year we will not be accepting physical artwork, only photographs of the artwork. To ensure our judges have the best quality view of your work, please confirm that photographs are no less than 180 dpi.
  • Only two-dimensional (2D), unframed artwork will be accepted.
  • Students must send the photograph of their artwork to Sister Cities International by uploading it along with the entry form below.
  • Students are also encouraged to post one (1) photograph of their artwork to Instagram and include the following in their caption:
    • Tag @SisterCitiesInt
    • Use the hashtag #YAAS2021
    • Include the city, state, and country where the student is from
  • All photos must be submitted by May 1, 2021.
  • Judges will evaluate submissions based on theme interpretation, originality, and creativity.
  • All work must be original.

Photographers
Showcase

Important note: To ensure our judges have the best quality view of your work, please confirm that photographs are no less than 180 dpi.

  • Students may select one (1) photograph to submit for this showcase.
  • Students must send the photograph to Sister Cities International by uploading it along with the entry form below.
  • Students are also encouraged to post the photograph to Instagram and include the following in their caption:
    • Tag @SisterCitiesInt
    • Use the hashtag #YAAS2021
    • Include the city, state, and country where the student is from
  • All photos must be submitted by May 1, 2021.
  • Judges will evaluate submissions based on theme interpretation, originality, and creativity.
  • All work must be original.

Authors
Showcase

  • Students may select one (1) piece of writing to submit for this showcase.
  • Articles can be creative writing, essays, anecdotes, and other written works following the content guidelines above.
  • Article submissions are not to exceed 500 words.
  • Submissions must be written in English.
  • All articles must be submitted to Sister Cities International by uploading it along with the entry form below in a PDF format.
  • Judges will evaluate submissions based on theme interpretation, originality, composition, and grammar.
  • All work must be original.

Poets
Showcase

  • Students may select one (1) poem to submit for this showcase.
  • Poetry submissions are not to exceed 200 words.
  • Submissions must be written in English.
  • All poems must be submitted to Sister Cities International by uploading it along with the entry form below in a PDF format.
  • Judges will evaluate submissions based on theme interpretation, originality, composition, and grammar.
  • All musical pieces must be submitted via e-mail by May 1, 2021.
  • All work must be original.

Musicians Showcase (Original pieces)

  • Students may select one (1) piece of music to submit for this showcase.
  • Only solo musicians may compete in this category. (i.e. no collaborations, bands, or groups)
  • Students should submit their music pieces in MP3 or WAV format by uploading it along with the entry form below.
    It will probably be necessary to use file sharing software such as Google Drive as the file will be too large to send via e-mail.
  • Only audio submissions will be accepted; no videos.
  • All musical pieces must be submitted via e-mail by May 1, 2021.
  • Judges will evaluate submissions based on theme interpretation, originality, and creativity.
  • The piece must be original.

Musicians Showcase (Reinterpreted pieces)

  • Students may select one (1) piece of music to submit for this showcase.
  • Only solo musicians may compete in this category. (i.e. no collaborations, bands, or groups)
  • Students should submit their music pieces in MP3 or WAV format by uploading it along with the entry form below.
    It will probably be necessary to use file sharing software such as Google Drive as the file will be too large to send via e-mail.
  • Only audio submissions will be accepted; no videos.
  • All musical pieces must be submitted via e-mail by May 1, 2021.
  • Judges will evaluate submissions based on theme interpretation and creativity.
  • The piece must be a cover or reinterpretation of an existing piece.






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    Congratulations to the 2020 Young Artists and Authors Showcase Winners