Hickory – The Young Artists and Authors Showcase (YAAS) is an annual competition that encourages youth worldwide to express the mission of Sister Cities International through digital artwork, original artwork, literature, photography, and music. Submissions are centered around an annual theme and judged based on originality, composition, and theme interpretation. This year’s theme is “Peace by Piece…Food Security in my Community.”Young Artists And Authors

Each entry must be placed through a local sister cities member chapter. Western Piedmont Sister Cities Association (WPSCA) is the local Sister Cities International member chapter that hosts this annual competition in the region. You do not need to be a member of WPSCA and there is no fee to participate. All youth ages 13 and 18 years (must not be over 18 years of age as of April 2, 2023) and living in any of the 4-county regions of Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba counties are eligible and encouraged to participate. All applications and entries must be submitted by Sunday, April 2, 2023. Please contact Tracey Trimble, WPSCA Chair and Catawba County Designee at ttrimble@hickoryfurniture.com or 704-502-5932 and she will send you a direct link to the application and answer any additional questions you may have. Please make sure students provide a non-school email that will allow the application to be sent to them by an outside entity.

Selected Grand Prize Winners in each category (digital art, classic art, photographers, authors, poets, and musicians) will win a $1000 prize. Second-place winners will receive $250 and third-place winners will receive $100.

Western Piedmont Sister Cities Association has been working with their partners in Altenburger Land to establish sister school pairings between schools in the Western Piedmont region in North Carolina and schools in the Altenburger Land region in Germany. COVID presented many delays to this effort, however interested schools will be given another opportunity to meet with their education and school counterparts in Altenburger Land this year to discuss upcoming school and youth initiatives, including the YAAS competition, digital pen pals, classroom videoconferencing, culinary recipe video exchanges, in-person apprenticeships and internships and in-person school and home exchanges where students have the opportunity to stay with host families. If you are interested in a sister school partnership or exchange for your school, there is still time. Just contact Tracey Trimble directly at ttrimble@hickoryfurniture.com or 704-502-5932.

Visit www.westernpiedmontsistercities.org for more information.