The Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh announces the kick-off of the 2014-2015 Waldman International Arts and Writing Competition. The Competition is in partnership with The Andy Warhol Museum, and in conjunction with JFilm: The Pittsburgh Jewish Film Forum, and Partnership2Gether (P2G) of the Jewish Federation.
The annual Waldman International Arts and Writing Competition, now in its’ 30th year, is open to middle and high school students and aims to promote Holocaust education as well as related educational topics. Entries are judged on creativity, skill, originality, and adherence to each year’s theme in the categories of creative writing, visual arts, and short film that explore aspects of the Holocaust and related topics. Locally, middle and high school students from the Greater Pittsburgh region (all schools in Western PA, Eastern Ohio, and Northern West Virginia) are invited to participate.
In the 2012-2013, the competition expanded to an international level by partnering with schools located in Pittsburgh’s Partnership Region in Israel: Karmiel and Misgav. Last year, it became more prestigious, through the generosity of The Andy Warhol Museum, which hosted the winning pieces and the Competition Awards Ceremony.
Anna Fireman, currently a senior at Taylor Allderdice High School (Pittsburgh Public School District), won first place in last year’s Competition with her unique visual arts piece entitled, Handed Down, A Memory Cuff for the Vilna Ghetto. When asked what being a part of the competition meant to her Fireman commented, “Being a part of the Waldman International Arts and Writing Competition [gave me] an opportunity to look at the Holocaust through an artistic lens. Combining my love for art with remembering the people of the Holocaust allowed me to design from the heart. The stories and memories uncovered from learning about the Vilna Ghetto are reflected in the piece and have affected the way I view the Holocaust.”
By being available to all students, the Competition remains true to the one of its original goals: education to all. “Education of each generation is critical,” remarked Hal Waldman, who, along with his wife Diane, started the competition with the Holocaust Center in 1984. Waldman continued by saying, “It is on the next generation to do a better job [than the one before].” Mr. Waldman, and his wife Diane, continue to generously underwrite the competition on an annual basis.
Each year the competition revolves around a central theme. The theme for the competition this year is Real Life Superheroes in the Face of Persecution. Focus areas include (resistance/degenerate art, superheroes of the Holocaust, and persecuted/exiled intellectuals) and corresponding inspirations (e.g., Andy Warhol, Marc Chagall, Les Banos, Sophie Scholl, Chavka Folman Raban, Natan Sharansky) are provided to teachers and students to help to further educate, shape, and inspire the students’ creative writing, visual art, or short film submissions.
This year The Andy Warhol Museum has joined the Holocaust Center as an official partner in the competition, which is “an exciting and natural fit,” said Joy Braunstein, Director of The Holocaust Center of Greater Pittsburgh. “The Warhol is the Gold-Star of the International Art Institutions in our region. Being able to partner with such an esteemed institution with arts educators and to have them involved in the competition this year is an incredible opportunity, not only for the Holocaust Center, but for all of the students who will be involved in the competition this year.”
Donald Warhola, nephew of the late Andy Warhol and The Andy Warhol Museum’s liaison to The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., will participate in this year’s Competition as a judge for in the visual arts category. The Andy Warhol Museum offers art education to area teachers and students through their Education department, which will be integrated into the competition this year. The special exhibition, 13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World’s Fair, is on display at The Warhol from September 27, 2014 – January 4, 2015. Teachers and students are encouraged to visit the museum and exhibition as a unique way to learn about Warhol’s role as a resistance artist. The Warhol is located at 117 Sandusky St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.
The awards and recognition event for all entrants in the Waldman International Arts and Writing Competition will take place at The Andy Warhol Museum on Sunday, April 19, 2015.
The Competition is now accepting student submissions. For more information about the 2014-2015 Waldman International Arts and Writing Competition, please visit https://holocaustcenterpgh.org/ or contact Emily Sabol at 412-421-1500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.