In honor of Earth Day on April 22, Kaddatz Galleries and the Fergus Falls Public Library, sponsored by Fergus Falls Friends of the Library (FFFL) and Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL), are hosting the Earth Day Arts Challenge. 

This year’s challenge began when CCL approached the library with book suggestions focused on climate. “Eyewitness,” an anthology assembled by Will Steger, contains work from Minnesotans demonstrating their eyewitness accounts of climate change. The book spurred a conversation that led to the formation of the Earth Day Arts Challenge with topic selection of climate change awareness. 

“Climate change describes a change in the average conditions — such as temperature and

rainfall — in a region over a long period of time,” explained Mary Waller, FFFL board member. According to NASA Climate Kids, scientists have observed that the Earth’s surface is warming, with the warmest years on record occurring within the past 20 years. 

“(We wanted) to bring awareness of how we can take care of and honor our planet. We all can be good stewards of the Earth,” Waller shared of the decision to focus on climate change for the art challenge. 

With funding in part from West Central Initiative and the Unitarian Church of Underwood’s Empowerment Grant, the challenge grew wings and is ready to take flight. The challenge has no entry fee and will accept up to one submission per category (art or writing). Each submission is required to include name, school/grade (for children), email/phone number. High school and adult entries may include a brief artist’s statement. All entries will be read and assessed and feedback will be provided. Prizes will be given via drawing on April 22. 

Age categories include youth and adult. Youth categories are broken down into elementary school (grades K-4), middle school (grades 5-8), and high school (grades 9-12). Youth submissions can be dropped off at the library April 1-15. Adult submissions will be accepted at Kaddatz Galleries April 1-15. Submissions will be on display and must be picked up after May 1 but before May 10.

Written submissions must be written in English and may not exceed 500 words. Short stories and poetry are encouraged.    

Art submissions may be 2D with maximum dimensions of 11-by-14 inches or 3D with dimensions not exceeding 12-by-12-by-12 inches. 

For a better understanding of the topic of climate change, Beth Monke of CCL suggests taking part in the social justice book study at the library during the month of April. The study will examine Steger’s “Eyewitness” and discuss indications made by the scientific community regarding climate change today and in the future.


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