This summer, some of the city’s sixth, seventh and eighth graders will have a chance to share their views on Memphis history, culture, and local issues through photography, thanks to the Memphis Tourism Foundation’s “Memphis: Through the Lens of a New Generation Photo Competition.”
Each participant will receive a disposable camera with 27 color shots.
“Although students are young and may not have any significant experience in taking photos, they still will have the chance to display what’s important to them,” said Erica Horton of the Memphis Tourism Foundation. “One of the cool things about the competition is that we’re getting the perspective of people who are really, really young. There are some things that young people see that older people don’t know about, and there are some things that older people see that young people might not understand. We’re just looking for their honest perspective of what they think represents the city of Memphis.”
Before students can participate in the competition, they will have to apply on Memphislens.weebly.com.
As part of the application process, each student must write a three-paragraph essay about themselves and why they want to participate in the competition. Those who have seen the documentary I Am A Man, a short film on the 1968 sanitation strike in Memphis and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s involvement, can write about what they learned from the film instead of why they want to participate in the competition. The application deadline is May 18th.
Up to 50 kids will be chosen for the competition by the end of May. Those who are chosen will meet with foundation representatives and receive tips from skilled photographers.
Participants will have to return their cameras by June 23rd, so their film can be developed. The top three contestants will be chosen and notified on June 30th.
On July 14th, participants will be recognized at an award ceremony.
All three winners will receive a digital camera and certificate. The first place winner will also receive a gift of $100. The second place winner will receive $50, and the third place winner will receive $25.
Deanie Parker with the Memphis Tourism Foundation said the primary purpose of the competition is to acquaint people with some of the city’s art, history, culture and music. She said it would provide kids with the opportunity to engage in something positive at the end of their school year.
“We’re going to encourage them to think broadly and deeply about the city in which they live,” Parker said. [We want them to] examine it in terms of what’s great and wonderful about it and what they’d like to improve about it. And [we] certainly [want them] to learn more about the city’s contribution to so many different things that a lot of us take for granted.”
For additional information, contact Erica Horton at 901-273-3227.