Artwork ready for the jury

What about Peace? The answer is on it’s way.

What About Peace? is the international arts contest for youth ages 14 – 20 to express ideas and thoughts about peace by responding to the question, “What About Peace?” through artistic expression, with $1500 in prize money to be given out.

"What About Peace?" submissions laid out by jurists

The deadline has passed to submit and the question “What about Peace?” has been answered by over 700 young people – using the medium of photography, painting, graphic, poetry, short story and essay.  The answers came from all over the country – Virginia, Minnesota, Nebraska, Arizona, California and far off countries including the Philippines.

Last year I served as the “What About Peace?” Grand Judge and this is the first year that Global Exchange has been in charge of this contest that is designed to reward sustained thought about what we mean by peace and how we achieve it.  It was started by a visionary woman, Barbara Briggs-Letson who believes that having young people think about peace is a good thing and that their unleashed creativity can and will make it happen.

What About Peace? promotes an important inter-generational dialogue and the jurists were inspired by the carefully thought out essays, poems and beautiful paintings and collages.

Some of the "What About Peace" 2012 entries

For continuity this year I drove up to Sebastopol, CA where last year’s jury showed me how it was done. Four jurists – a museum curator, an artist and two art teachers helped me spread out all the visual pieces in the pews of large church that had donated space. Then came the difficult task of finding the truly unique answers, the creative responses and the artfully executed pieces. It wasn’t easy! There are some great entries this year.

Now the pieces have returned to San Francisco, where our Grand Judge Rae Abileah will pick the prize winners in the next two weeks and we will have the honor of announcing and posting the winners on April 20th on our What About Peace? website and right here on our People to People blog. Stay tuned!