A worldwide creative arts challenge focusing on our oceans is happening now. 2018 marks the seventh year of the online contest. It is for young artists between 11 and 18 years of age. 

Linda Cabot, President of the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Program. She says built the program on three guiding principles.

“One was my love for the ocean and coastal communities. The second is to believe that youth have the power to change society. The third is to understand that art and creative literacy is a very powerful and necessary skill.”

Cabot feels there is a lack of education on the worlds changing oceans. She saw this as a way to get youth involved and express environmental impacts in an artistic way. 

 “It’s not taught in school science programs or any of the hard science classes. So I thought to bring about awareness and empathy towards our oceans in a fantastic through creative arts.”

The online contest has grown globally, connecting youth and raising a generation of ocean advocates.

“There are kids from all over the world; from Serbia to Malaysia, Ireland, South America, and most of the United States.”

Last year the contest had art entries from 63 countries and 48 U.S. states. Bow Seat Program Director Alyssa Irizarry says it’s amazing to see the kids connect with ocean issues throughout their research and artwork.

 “They are connecting with these issues emotionally and then becoming leaders in advocating for solutions or for at least raising awareness.”

This year’s contest theme is climate change. Students can express the issue through writing, art, poetry, film, and their newest category, music. Irizarry adds it is for individuals or groups.

“It can be self-driven, or teachers can use it as a final project in their classroom.”

Students are allowed to submit multiple entries.

“So if a student is a writer and a painter they can submit one piece in each of our categories.”

Cabot says they provide online tools for students.  

“We put a lot of thought and detail not only into our resources and inspiration for kids. There is also a student gallery from past winners that people can see.”

There is a junior and senior division, with cash awards from $250 to $1500. The entry deadline is June 18, 2018. Find submission details and contest rules for the Ocean Awareness Student Contest at www.fromthebowseat.com.  

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