Lazarus was a Latina Jew whose poem “The New Colossus” transformed the meaning of the Statue of Liberty. Revive her example and make art to inspire people to stand up to anti-Semitism.
Emma Lazarus was a Sephardic Jewish activist in 19th Century America who advocated for a Jewish homeland and for persecuted Jews seeking refuge from anti-Semitism in Europe. She is best known for her poem “The New Colossus” – which transformed the Statue of Liberty from a gift from Europe into an icon of refuge for those fleeing persecution in Europe and beyond. The poem is now inscribed at the base of the statue.
Art, in all forms, can change public perceptions and galvanize mass movements. Our movement against anti-Semitism needs powerful words and imagery to help mobilize people and galvanize action. For this award category, entries will be poems and works of visual art (see below for specifics) that inspire people of conscience to stand up to anti-Semitism.
Outstanding entries will create iconic imagery that can visually embody the 21st century movement to end anti-Semitism. Entries should be accompanied by a brief (up to two minutes) video of the artists’ creative process.
Awards categories are:
- Best poem: $5,000 plus trip to Israel
- Best graffiti/street art mural design: $5,000 plus trip to Israel to paint the mural
- Best cartoon/comic: $5,000 plus trip to Israel
- Best billboard: $5,000 plus use on billboard.
- 10 additional runner-up prizes of $500 will also be awarded.
Here is a guide for making good entries:
Design a Great Billboard to Educate the Public about anti-Semitism!
A billboard offers a powerful way to reach the public with a message that quickly grabs individuals passing by. In very few words and with inventive images, ideas can be dramatically transmitted on a large canvas. Because they remain in public view for weeks, billboards reach diverse audiences and hundreds of thousands of new and repeat viewers.
A billboard about anti-Semitism should enlist sympathy and win viewers to oppose the bigotry. Outstanding billboard entries will present a message that moves the viewer emotionally, promotes awareness about the problem, and possibly even urges a specific action. Ideas and guidelines for developing powerful billboards can be found here and here.
Design Great Graffiti and Street Art to Educate the Public about anti-Semitism!
Graffiti and street art express a popular voice. As a form of public art, they embody a vibe that is powerful and immediate. The ideas and images they represent leave a permanent mark on the viewer’s mind.
Graffiti has the power to uplift a community, beautify a neighborhood and spark action. It is also beautiful – and sometimes, the creation of beauty in an otherwise dark and cold world is enough. If anti-Semitism brings a chill across to society, graffiti art can bring warm light.
Entries to the contest should be sketches of public murals that challenge anti-Semitism. These murals should question the causes of anti-Semitism, encourage its rejection and, overall, create an emotional response in favor of the equal treatment of Jews and all people. The winning artist gets the $5,000 prize and a trip to Israel where they will get to paint the mural.
Design a Great Cartoon or Comic to Educate the Public about anti-Semitism!
Anti-Semitic cartoons have demonized Jews since the beginning of the printing press. Comics have inflamed public opinion about Jews – and the Jewish state – and been a nefarious vehicle by which bigots have shared their intolerant messages and, in the worst cases, been the cause of violence against the Jewish people.
This contest is an opportunity to challenge anti-Semitic cartoons and, using their own power against them, create something significant in contrast. Artists are encouraged to make their most profound, powerful, meaningful and effective cartoon or comic fitting the category of Combating Anti-Semitism. There are no restrictions on size, style, or look of the comic. Everything from graphic novel style to newspaper comic strips to single images are encouraged.