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Published November 18th, 2015
The Third Year of Local Arts Contest for Kids
The LYAS team, from left: Samantha Swan, Charlie Keohane, Uma Unni, Zoe Portnoff, Isabel Rurka and Sophia Benveniste Photo provided

The third annual photography and writing contest hosted by the Lafayette Youth Arts Society (LYAS) to promote the fine arts of Lafayette youth began Nov. 16. The contest, which expanded internationally last year, is open to sixth- through eighth-graders living in Lafayette. This year, in addition to writing and photography, the contest will have a video portion. Hollywood director and scriptwriter Brian Horiuchi will be judging the video entries and Mary Guzmán, a San Francisco filmmaker, will teach a workshop held by the LYAS in January to help inspire kids who would like to enter the video portion of the contest.
This year, the chief writing judge will be Yiyun Li, a distinguished writer and recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant. The additional writing judges include Alison Burke and Martha Schimbor, two retired English teachers from Miramonte High School. The photography contest is still in place, though there have been slight alterations. This year, participants will submit three photos in response to the video prompts. The judges and prompts will be announced soon. During last year's contest the LYAS paired with the Tingstrup Skole, a school in Thisted, Denmark. Students in Denmark entered the photography portion, responding to the same prompts as the students in the U.S., though they were judged separately. This was a great opportunity to form bridges with Denmark and was an amazing success. For this year's international contest, the LYAS is in talks with an Israeli middle school that might participate.
Prizes range from $100-250 and there will be gift cards for the runners-up. In addition, participants can win fabulous books and, of course, the fame and glory that goes with winning. There are lists of prompts posted this month for those interested in competing. Writing and photography entries must be submitted by Jan. 31 either digitally or to the P.O. Box listed on the website, www.lyas.org.
The LYAS is a kid-run organization with teens organizing, planning and executing the contest and making sure that everything runs smoothly. LYAS is also fully supported by the community, including the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, the Sunrise Rotary Club, the Lafayette Community Foundation, and Lori Legler of the Alain Pinel Realtors. For more information about the LYAS, visit www.lyas.org.


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