JACKSONVILLE, FL – Calling all teenage film makers, poets, and photographers! The National Park Service, in partnership with the National Park Foundation’s African American Experience Fund, today launched Expressions of Freedom, a nationwide artistic competition to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Contest submissions will be accepted from students 13 to 18 years old in three categories – photography, poetry, and digital short films. The first-place winner in each category will receive a $2,500 academic scholarship and the second-place winner will receive a $1,000 academic scholarship. The deadline for entries is October 15, 2012. Details are available at http://www.nps.gov/freedom.
“The issue that was at the heart of the Civil War – the continual struggle for equality for all – remains relevant today,” said Jonathan B. Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service. “This contest encourages young people to reflect on their own personal meanings of freedom and creatively express those thoughts.”
Expressions of Freedom is designed to connect student artists to the significance of the American Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the system of national parks that commemorate events associated with the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement.
The Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve’s Kingsley Plantation transports visitors to a time before freedom came. Traveling through the arc of tabby slave cabins one can imagine the lives of enslaved families. The Plantation allows visitors to walk in the footsteps of the enslaved and realize that not long ago people were held in bondage in the land of the free. The Emancipation Proclamation ended the plantation era changing the lives of everyone on Fort George Island. The Plantation structures however remained and today provide us with insight into this gravely important part of the American story. “We hope that Kingsley Plantation inspires local students to express what freedom means to them” stated Park Superintendent Barbara Goodman.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 397 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.