Annual Holocaust Art and Writing Contest Generates Contributions from 7,000 Students!
Friday March 6, 2015, Chapman University and The 1939 Society hosted the 16th Annual Holocaust Art and Writing Contest Awards Ceremony. This year generated the most participation the competition has ever had with over 209 schools and 7,000 students participating, from 26 states, Slovakia, and China. Check out this year’s winning video!
Marilyn Harran, Director of The Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education at Chapman University, introduced the program saying to the audience of students, teachers, Holocaust survivors, their children and grandchildren, and local political leadership, “You have made the memory of the Holocaust part of your lives.”
Jack Pariser, a Holocaust survivor and distinguished guest at Friday’s ceremony, addressed the audience saying that he pushes himself and all of us to think about how we can create a more just and sane world. “Never give up hope in our human potential for goodness… We have to remove the hate that starts and fuels genocide.”
He continued with an appeal for a brighter future, expressing his belief that humanity has the bandwidth to end genocide just as we have ended epidemics. “It is doable and we can do it… Accept and affirm others. If you live by this value you will become the generation that makes ‘never again’ a reality.”
Echoes and Reflections founder Dana Hollander, along with Project Director, Deborah Batiste, and facilitator, Sherry Bard, were acknowledged for their support in serving as expert judges in the contest. Heather Rhein, Assistant Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League, presented the awards for first and second place in middle school writing. Jenna Leventhal, IWitness Manager at the USC Shoah Foundation, presented the awards for first and second place in high school art and, both the Anti-Defamation League and USC Shoah Foundation were honored for their role as partners in the competition.
Harran concluded the ceremony, offering words of appreciation to the students for sharing the gift of their creativity. She said that by watching testimony and telling the story of their impressions through their art they carry on the responsibility of being a witness.
Middle School Writing
First Prize: Light at the End of the Tunnel, Cameron Martin, Grade 8 – Serra Catholic School
Second Prize: Because Love Set You Free, Rebecca Curtis, Grade 8 – St. Anne School
High School Writing
First Prize: The Flow of Tears, Caleb Penner, Grade 10 – Acaciawood College Preparatory Academy
Second Prize: What If?, Kelly Nguyen, Grade 10 – Yorba Linda High School
Middle School Art
First Prize (see above): Everlasting Faith, Erik Zou, Grade 8 – Jonas Clarke Middle School
Second Prize (see below): Within the Broken Burden, Natalie Kim, Grade 8 – South Pointe Middle School
High School Art
First Prize (see above): The “Writing on the Wall”, Joshua Sands, Grade 10 – Acaciawood College Preparatory Academy
Second Prize (see above): Prayer of the Innocent Criminal, Scott Lee, Grade 10 – Servite High School
Middle School Film
First Prize: Do Something, Sanaia Meneses, Grade 6 – Melbourne A. Gauer Elementary School
Second Prize: A Story of Survival, Hannah Walz, Grade 8 – St. Cecilia Catholic School