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Contest combines important values

Published 11:00pm Thursday, February 21, 2013

“The Power of Exchange” seems a fitting theme for an art contest that will involve students from around the globe.

The contest, sponsored by Sister Cities International, will be put on locally by Suffolk Sister Cities. The group coordinates valuable cultural exchanges between Suffolk and its two sister cities — Suffolk County, England, the namesake of our city, and Oderzo, Italy, the hometown of community benefactor Amedeo Obici. Citizens, from mayors to schoolchildren, of both localities have visited our Suffolk in recent years through the work of the group, and our citizens have reciprocated.

Another important opportunity the organization offers is the Young Artists and Young Writers Showcase. Students ages 13 to 18 can enter, and winners will receive cash prizes and ribbons.

In our increasingly global economy and global society, cultural literacy becomes more and more important, almost with every passing day. And as students are pushed harder to achieve in core academic subjects, the importance of art in all forms can sometimes be overlooked.

That’s why the Sister Cities art contest is so important for young people to get involved in. It combines these two important skills — creativity and cultural intelligence — to “promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation.”

Potential entrants have good footsteps to follow. The 2011 Best in Show work by Dakota Evers went on to be selected as one of 10 international finalist pieces, and it was shown in an international tour.

We are confident any of this year’s entrants can do just as well, and we encourage all eligible students to enter.

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