Bow Seat Launches the 2020 Ocean Awareness Contest, an International Call for Teens to Use the Creative Arts to Advocate for Climate Action
September 17, 2019

Competition Provides Students with Opportunity to Join the Global Youth Movement Shining a Spotlight on the Climate Crisis     

Today, Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs (Bow Seat) launched its ninth annual Ocean Awareness Contest, a pioneering global arts competition that invites youth to raise awareness of issues impacting our blue planet. The 2020 Contest theme, “Climate Hope: Transforming Crisis,” asks students to create artwork that shares their visions and solutions for tackling the climate emergency and to reflect on the role of hope in making meaningful change.

The Ocean Awareness Contest is open through June 15th, 2020, to teens ages 11-18 worldwide. Submissions are accepted in visual art, poetry, prose, film, music, and interactive or multimedia. Winners will be selected from each category and receive awards of up to $1,500 each.

“As we prepare to witness what may be the biggest, loudest, and most important climate mobilization to date during this week’s Global Climate Strike, we are truly honored to stand in solidarity with this incredible youth-led movement and to provide additional opportunities for students to advocate for the changes they want to see in their communities and for their futures,” said Linda Cabot, founder and president of Bow Seat. “The Ocean Awareness Contest reminds participants that being an environmental activist can take many forms—marching in the streets; taking action in one’s personal life; and telling stories through creative media that educate, inspire, and activate.”

Since 2012, more than 12,000 students from 106 countries and all 50 U.S. states have participated in the Ocean Awareness Contest. Bow Seat has awarded almost $300,000 in scholarships to help advance teens’ creative talents and passion for the ocean, as well as to educators who use the Contest as a tool to teach students about ocean conservation issues, apply classroom learning to real-world problems, and build students’ research and communication skills.

To support students’ participation in the Contest, Bow Seat has created a unique, curated Resource Studio to provide an interdisciplinary educational experience—using inspirational artwork, journalistic media, primary literature, interactive quizzes, and more—to help students learn about climate science basics, understand the urgent issues facing coastal and marine ecosystems, and gain tools to practice creative communication in advocacy and civic engagement. In addition, the online Resource Studio provides educators with innovative lesson plans, classroom activities, and suggested reading to help them incorporate climate change into their curricula and meet important educational standards across disciplines.

“The artistic process is an effective way for students to explore knowledge and feelings about climate change and to help them find and share their voice,” continued Cabot. “Students tell us that creating something—such as a painting, poem, or performance—helps them personally connect with the ocean and the many threats facing it. After expressing their visions for the future of our planet through their art, youth feel, above all, hopeful about their own power to create positive change.”

For more information about the 2020 Ocean Awareness Contest, go to www.bowseat.org/contest.

Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs is proud to be an official partner of the Boston Climate Strike on September 20, 2019.

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Bow Seat Launches the 2020 Ocean Awareness Contest, an International Call for Teens to Use the Creative Arts to Advocate for Climate Action