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What does freedom mean to you?

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Student art contest commemorates 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation

WASHINGTON – Calling all teenage film makers, poets, and photographers! The National Park Service, in partnership with the National Park Foundation’s African American Experience Fund, has launched Expressions of Freedom, a nationwide artistic competition to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

National Park Service photo

National Park Service photo

Contest submissions will be accepted from students 13 to 18 years old in three categories – photography, poetry, and digital short films. The first-place winner in each category will receive a $2,500 academic scholarship and the second-place winner will receive a $1,000 academic scholarship.

Expressions of Freedom is designed to connect student artists to the significance of the American Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the system of national parks that commemorate events associated with the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement.

“The issue that was at the heart of the Civil War – the continual struggle for equality for all – remains relevant today,” said Jonathan B. Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service. “This contest encourages young people to reflect on their own personal meanings of freedom and creatively express those thoughts.”

“One hundred fifty years ago we began a great journey toward equality and freedom in this nation,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “The story of that journey is told through our national parks, the important work being done by the African American Experience Fund, and now through the creativity of our young people with the launch of this unique project.”

The deadline for entries is Oct.15, 2012. Details are available at

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