Scottsdale’s Youth Artist and Author Showcase Winners Compete in Sister Cities International’s Competition

SCOTTSDALE SISTER CITIES ASSOCIATION YOUNG ARTISTS AND AUTHORS SHOWCASE 2021 (YAAS 2021) can be seen APRIL 16, 2020 – JUNE 20, 2021 at Scottsdale Center for the Arts (South Gallery).   For 31 years prior to 2021’s competition Scottsdale’s YAAS has been held for SCOTTSDALE young artists and authors ages 13 to 18, with winners advancing on to compete in the Sister Cities International’s Youth Authors and Artists Showcase.  This year, 2021, in the year of Covid19, Scottsdale Sister Cities Association’s Young Artists and Authors Showcase held its first INTERNATIONAL competition. 

For decades, Sister Cities International (SCI) has leveraged the power of art and the written word to transform societies and transcend cultural boundaries through. The SCI Showcase has given youth around the world opportunity to express their vision for a more unified, peaceful world through original art and literature.  SSCA and SCI strive to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation – one individual, one community at a time, and we recognize a younger generation, capable of dreaming of a human existence that is even more dynamic, more advanced, and more resilient than ever before. Scottsdale Sister Cities Association has encouraged local students to participate in this art & writing competition for 32 years. This year, more than ever, SSCA was eager to give voice to young artists and writers. As we moved through this year of uncertainty and isolation, we for unexpected pathways, filled with innovative ideas and renewed hope, and that welcomed students to share their artistic expressions of the theme “Unity in Hope”.  This year, SSCA encouraged three of our Sister Cities to also submit pieces of Writing and Artwork for our local exhibit.  We received artwork and writing from students in our sister cities of Alamos, Marrakech, and Kingston.   YAAS Award winners were announced for each category and displayed together as our first international arts showcase.

May 8th, through the marvels of a “Zoom” call, SSCA Scottsdale and the International winners were honored at an awards ceremony for the winners of the art and writing awards.  First place winner seen here, “I Hope,” by Brynley McAndrews, and 2nd place winner, “One World United” by Iliana Mendez will advance to the Sister Cities International YAAS Competition.  An essay entitled, “Connecting Isolated Pawns,” written by Jack Swenson, and poem, “Rain Cleanse”, by Ava Claire Lariego will also advance to the international competition. 

Scottsdale Sister Cities wish to thank those who helped make our first truly INTERNATIONAL Showcase such a success: Sandra Zally, Vice President and Art Coordinator for SSCA, and our members and friends who worked tirelessly on this program.  We also thank our partners at Scottsdale Artists’ School, and Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation. 

The artwork and writing compositions for this unique international collaboration are on display at the ArtReach Space Gallery, in the South Hall of the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts until June 20th, 2021.

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