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School of Languages, Cultures, and Race College of Arts and Sciences

Art for Social Change Competition and Showcase

The Art for Social Change Competition seeks to create space for and recognize the role of art in advancing social justice, as a process and a goal. We seek artistic submissions that provoke, challenge, and inspire.

The goal of this competition is to not only call attention to the importance of recognizing the vast inequalities that persists in the world today, but also to recognize the necessity to build a new world –  to dream, to envision, to invent, to create –  redefining how we live and interact with our surroundings. 

Submission Categories

The Art for Social Change Competition and Showcase includes four distinct categories for students to explore.

Submissions will be accepted for consideration in the following categories:

  • Remembering MLK and Revitalizing the Dream
    • Submissions that commemorate the history of the Civil Rights Movement and the legacy of MLK, and those that relate to the theme Revitalizing the Dream.
  • Social Justice In Action
    • Submissions that address contemporary issues of inequality and injustice at the local, national, or global level. 
  • Community-Building at WSU
    • Submissions that foster an inclusive community at WSU (must be specific to WSU).
  • Community Outreach
    • Submissions that build bridges between WSU (or the WSU community and individuals) and other communities.

Note: This year, AFSC is specifically seeking works of art that engage with the themes of WSU’s 2020-2021 Common Reading Born a Crime, written by Trevor Noah. The themes are:

    • Segregation/Apartheid
    • Mixed race families/individuals
    • Police Brutality
    • Being a crime (as opposed to committing a crime)
Also, SLCR working with the Department of English, is including the the Campus Civic Poet Competition with AFSC. The Campus Civic Poet Competition seeks:
    • Submissions that celebrate civic engagement and the spoken word in the WSU campus community.
    • Submission requires a one-page (minimum) description of the student’s civic engagement, literary accomplishments, academic or other achievements, along with any documentation of the student’s work, such as publications and/or links to their poetry and/or performances.
Evaluation Criteria

Submissions for the first three categories will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Artistic interpretation of themes
  • Ability to provoke and inspire change 
  • Innovation and originality

Submissions for the Campus Civic Poet category will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Civic engagement
  • Literary accomplishments
  • Academic and non-academic achievements

Showcase and Awards Reception

Winners will be announced and presented with awards at the next Art for Social Change Competition Showcase coming in February 2021. 

The event will be hosted by the School of Languages, Cultures, and Race. All submissions will be featured and available for viewing at the showcase and reception. View the showcase and awards reception in our Art for Social Change Showcase album.

The 2021 Campus Civic Poet Awardee will win a $500 award from the Department of English.

Award Recognition

We are proud to announce the award winners of the 2020 AFSC Competition.

Remembering MLK and Revitalizing the Dream

  • “I Can Dream” by Alison Poteracke (Real People Jazz Suite)

Social Justice in Action   

  • “Spare Change” by Rachel Tveit

Community-Building at WSU 

  • “Unguarded” by Hannah Levy

Campus Civic Poet   

  • “this is for [me] you” by Allyson Pang   

Fine Arts Choice Award

  • “97 Years Back” by Sovann Robinson

Guidelines for 2021 Submissions (NEW!)

2020 Student Submissions

Next Public Art Exhibition coming in February 2021

Next Showcase & Awards Reception coming in February 2021


Contact Tom Forbes

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