Throughout the month of February, the African Diaspora Advisory Council (ADAC) of Coconino County will be hosting an art and essay contest for Black History Month. K-12 students across the county can submit projects inspired by Black health and wellness through Thursday, February 20.
The council chose black health and well-being based on the national theme, which is chosen annually by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, said Deborah Harris, member of the ADAC and president of the Southside Community Association.
The Essay Contest has been an annual event in Flagstaff for several years now.
“We wanted to try to provide an opportunity, especially for young people, to learn about black history and culture,” Harris said. “…Not much is happening in the schools. They tend not to talk much about anything other than slavery and Martin Luther King Jr., so it’s kind of depressing. You want people to experience parts of the culture other than the negatives. »
This year’s essay prompt asks students to choose a black health hero or heroine and “share why you admire them.” It includes links to websites about black medical pioneers and a detailed section showing how essays will be judged in the categories of content, clarity, structure and creativity.
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The art contest invites you to create an artwork that represents the theme or celebrates a black health pioneer. These will be judged on a scale of one to four based on design, creativity, effort and skill. The artwork can be “in any style you choose”.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what kind of things they come up with and how they interpret the word ‘art’, because it can be visual, it can be auditory. Art encompasses so many things,” Harris said.
Essays can be typed or handwritten legibly and must be 500 words or less. Artwork may be submitted in physical form or as photographs. According to a flyer announcing the competition, “Each entry must have a cover page that includes the title/subject, student’s name, address and phone number, and the name of your school (if applicable). and level”.
Submissions should be sent to the African American Diaspora Advisory Council c/o Susie Garretson at [email protected]
The hope is that the contest will end with an in-person reception at the Murdoch Community Center, but if COVID-19 measures are too high, Harris said, they plan to hold a virtual event instead. Either way, the event will take place on February 27 and will include readings from the winning entrants as well as performances including a singer and a black history monologue.
Harris asked people to participate in the month’s events “where you can”. It’s part of an effort to coordinate this year’s Black History Month events so they overlap as little as possible. These include in-person and virtual events from a number of local organizations and can be found on the Murdoch Center Facebook page.
More information about the contest, including rubrics and a sample cover page, can be found at coconino.az.gov/93/African-Diaspora-Advisory-Council.