Press Release: Rejoice the Vote! Art Contest Deadline Oct 1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jeff Furman
Jfurman@twcny.rr.com


Rejoice the Vote! Art Contest
Deadline October 1st
All Ages, Cash Prizes

ITHACA, NY, September 1, 2020 – Longtime steward of socially-conscious business Jeff Furman is excited to announce the Rejoice the Vote! Art Contest honoring Representative John C. Lewis (1940-2020). Open to artists of all ages around the country, the contest is seeking poster designs, which accomplish one or more of the following:

  • Inspire people, especially young people, to vote in-person or absentee and remind them that their vote is a powerful tool despite efforts at suppression.
  • Promote the movement to lower the legal voting age to sixteen.
  • Highlight youth activists (historical or contemporary) who fought and continue to fight for voting rights, especially for our youngest citizens.

Artists of all ages are invited to learn more and submit their artwork by October 1st at www.rejoicethevote.org/artcontest.

With injustice and voter disenfranchisement rampant in our country, it is easy for individuals to become jaded. The contest organizers believe that in spite of continued efforts at voter suppression, casting one’s ballot remains a powerful tool that must be embraced if we want our country to one day fulfill its promise of justice and freedom for all. Rep. Lewis believed in the power of individuals and movements to change the course of history and earned the title of the “conscience of Congress.” In 2018, he famously tweeted, “Your vote matters. If it didn’t why would some people keep trying to take it away?”

Jeff Furman has bridged the gap between businesses and social justice movements for many years, serving on the Board of Ben & Jerry’s for almost four decades and serving as President of the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation. He lives in Ithaca where he is the president of Social Ventures, co-founder of the Community Dispute Resolution Center and co-founder of a community micro-finance program. In addition, Jeff has served on the local school board, working to eliminate race and socio-economic status as a predictor of student success, and as an advisor to the Dorothy Cotton Institute, Alliance of Families for Justice, and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Jeff explains, “The best way to honor John Lewis is to continue the work. And the best way for me to do that given my background and age is to support and encourage the younger generation who are engaged in that work.” Furman is supported by Shira and Ari Evergreen, local designers who specialize in working with nonprofits and socially-conscious small businesses. They created the website and graphics for Rejoice the Vote! and are collaborating with Jeff to launch and promote the art contest broadly.
 
In addition to cash prizes (details below), winning designs will be printed on posters, shared on social media and made into t-shirts, and all submissions that meet the contest criteria will be included in an online gallery. The jury (in formation) will consist of artists and community organizers from around the country. Confirmed jurors include Lola Ibrahim of ArtUnited, Phillip Agnew of Dream Defenders, artist/teacher Ana Goldsmith, and Cal Walker of Village at Ithaca. Juror bios are posted on the contest website.
 
Cash prizes will be awarded in multiple age-based categories. There are national prizes as well as “Hometown” prizes for residents of Tompkins and Cortlands county. Hometown prize winners are also eligible for national prizes. The Hometown Grand Prize is in honor of local community leader Kirby Edmonds (1951-2020) who was a Senior Fellow at the Dorothy Cotton Institute and spearheaded numerous local initiatives focused on justice, sustainability, ending poverty and building community.
 

National Prizes

Ages 0-8
1st prize $50
Honorable mention $25

Ages 9-11
1st prize $75
Honorable mention $25

Ages 12-14
1st prize $100
Honorable mention $50

Ages 15-18
1st prize $500
Honorable mention $150

Over 18
1st prize $500
Honorable mention $150

National Grand Prize
$500
 
 
Hometown Prizes
For residents of Tompkins and Cortland County. These prizes may be won in addition to national prizes.

Ages 0-8
1st prize $50
Honorable mention $25

Ages 9-11
1st prize $75
Honorable mention $25

Ages 12-14
1st prize $100
Honorable mention $50

Ages 15-18
1st prize $300
Honorable mention $100

Over 18
1st prize $300
Honorable mention $100

Hometown Grand Prize
Honoring Kirby Edmonds
$400
 
Artists can visit the contest website to learn more and get inspiration, including our poster of Young Voting Heroes, which highlights young people whose work continues the legacy created by John C. Lewis. The art contest is part of the larger Rejoice the Vote! project, a campaign to shift our national culture to one where voting is celebrated and embraced as a tool for social change. In addition to this art contest, the project has released a series of posters honoring “Voting Vanguards,” people who dedicated their lives to increasing voting rights for all. The posters, along with student art inspired by the posters were displayed at The History Center in partnership with the Dorothy Cotton Institute, in celebration of Black History Month last February.
 
More information and the submission form can be found at www.rejoicethevote.org/artcontest
 
 
###

For more information, contact Jeff Furman: Jfurman@twcny.rr.com
More about Jeff Furman and Rejoice the Vote!: https://rejoicethevote.org/
More about Shira and Ari Evergreen: http://shirari.com/