Young Artists

Young Artists and Authors Showcase

2017 Young Artists and Authors Showcase

Each year, the Young Artists and Authors Showcase (YAAS) encourages youth from around the globe to express the mission of Sister Cities International through original artwork, literature, film, and photography.

Showcasing their imagination, creativity, and passion for world peace, students interpret a designated annual theme into works of art and literature. The work is sent from sister city member communities to Washington, DC, where a panel of judges selects Grand Prize Winners and Finalists based on originality, composition, and theme interpretation. Each Grand Prize Winner is awarded $1,000.

This program is a great opportunity to reach out to the community and engage local English and art teachers, and reach a student audience that may not already be included in sister city programming. After the finalists for art, literature, film, and photography have been announced, their works embark on a yearlong tour hosted by local sister city programs on a monthly basis. This opportunity is available to any sister city program and can help expand local youth programming.


In partnership with Cinequest, students are encouraged to create a short film as their submission piece. Voted “Best Film Festival” by USA Today Readers, Cinequest fuses creativity with technological innovation to empower youth and emerging artists.

In addition, students are now invited to share original photography on Instagram as their submission piece.

The 2017 Theme: We’re Going Places

Sister Cities International aims to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation – one individual, one community at a time. This year’s theme, “We’re Going Places,” showcases the importance of travel and exchange in achieving peace. Students are encouraged to draw inspiration from their experience with sister cities, travel, exchange, international friendships, and their goals to present their vision of where the future will lead.

At a Glance: Specifications

Artwork One (1) piece of artwork will be accepted from each U.S. member community and one (1) from each of their sister cities. Artists should contact their local sister city contact for more information. Find out if your city is a member here. Members with multiple entries are encouraged to form their own local competitions and submit the winner to Sister Cities International’s national competition. All media is encouraged. Artists should be between 13-18 years old as of the application deadline. See the Artist Guidelines below for more information.

Essay/Poetry Entries are limited to one (1) per student and five (5) per classroom. Essays should not exceed 500 works and poetry should not exceed 25 words. Authors should be between 13-18 years old as of the application deadline. See Authors Guidelines below for more information.

Photography Original photography should be submitted via Instagram. Multiple entries are allowed per student. Artists should be between 13-22 years old as of the application deadline. See photographer guidelines below for more information.

Short Film Videos should be 1-10 minutes in length. Artists should be between 13-22 years old as of the application deadline. See short film entry link below for more information.

Download Guidelines and Entry Forms

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