In spite of high level diplomatic differences being addressed by the governments of China and the USA, the youth of our two cities find ways through the sister cities program to build relationships. This year's theme of "Sustainable Water" really hit a resonating chord by students at Haikou Middle School. When invited to submit art and essays that share their concerns about sustainable water for all, they responded with fifteen art submissions and fifty-eight (yes, 58!) written submissions to our YAAS program. They used the creative arts to share their deep concern for this global issue.
But they went even further. The leaders of their local sister city organization then posted not only the fifteen art entries that had been submitted to Scottsdale, but an additional thirty-five art pieces they had not submitted onto an online local exhibition. Students from fourteen high schools in Haikou contributed. This local exhibition of fifty pieces of art attracted some 20,000 votes and 150,000 reviews.
But Haikou did not stop there. A special awards ceremony was held to recognize both the winners of the Scottsdale event (which had been announced in April) and also to recognize the ten winners of their local online exhibition.
The power of the creative arts for building positive relationships was on display this spring at the SSCA Young Artist and Authors Showcase Exhibit at the Civic Center Library and also in Haikou, China.
We believe more students from Haikou and our other sister cities will participate in our YAAS next year. We look forward to it. To read first place winner writing, click here.
1st Place from Haikou, Wang Xuan - Shown here.
2nd Place from Haikou, Du Yaojing
3rd Place from Haikou, Lin Boyi