A national competition seeking the best videos, photographs, and stories describing how individuals, families and communities are managing during these hard times.
One of the unexpected outcomes of the Great Depression was a decade of creative outpouring that covered the U.S. map. Under the auspices of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), thousands of artists fanned across the country documenting the experiences of everyday Americans as they worked to maintain their families, their communities, and their way of life in the face of a national economic crisis.
Now, as Americans are again experiencing financial hardship and uncertainty, First Person Arts invites artists to document how this generation of Americans is coping.
Inspired by the artists of the WPA, who documented the experiences of Americans in every part of the country, First Person Arts is asking artists to help craft the first draft of the history of our era by capturing, in photographs, on video, or in writing, the stories of America and its people during these difficult times.
Our goal is to gather stories from all 50 states.
We are looking for short memoirs and essays, documentary films, and photographs that depict Americans from all walks of life. We are especially interested in stories that are unique to your family, your community, your town, your region – that capture the idiosyncratic things that are happening where you live – the slices of life that, taken together, will give us a First Person picture of America in 2009 – the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful.
Writing submissions – up to 2,500 words.
Film and video submissions – up to five minutes, excluding credits.
Photography submissions – may include up to five photographs, with or without accompanying text of up to 100 words per image.
Submission deadline: June 30, 2009
Finalists in each category (writing, film, and photography) will be featured on the First Person Arts website (www.firstpersonarts.org) and at the First Person Festival of Memoir and Documentary Art, November 4-8, 2009. First place winners in each genre will be invited to Philadelphia to participate in the festival. A cash prize will be awarded to the best story overall.
Competition website: www.hardtimes.firstpersonarts.org