Lincoln Contest Deadline is Feb. 28

The application period for Truman’s annual Lincoln contests in art, essay and oratory is now open.

Some would argue that Abraham Lincoln is most remembered for his signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. The document may have had a limited direct impact on the lives of many slaves, but it was a watershed moment in stating that previously bound people shall be “forever free.” To emancipate commonly means to free from bondage, oppression or restraint. This year’s prompt asks students to choose one of the following possibilities and develop it into an essay:

•       Choose another emancipatory moment in Lincoln’s life and write about it, incorporating source material.

•       Choose an emancipatory moment in someone’s life and, incorporating source material, write about it.

Alumni Fred and Ethel Schwengel established the Lincoln Contests in art, essay and oratory to pay tribute to Abraham Lincoln. This semester, Monica Barron will judge the essays, and Barry Poyner will judge the speeches and art.

Interested students should submit a 1,000- to 1,500-word, three- to five-page essay in response to the prompt to Poyner, Barnett Hall 1110 by Feb. 28. Provide a list of works cited as appropriate. On a cover sheet, provide contact information and clearly indicate if entering the essay or oratorical contest, or both. Finalists in the Oratorical Contest will deliver their speeches before the National Communication Association Student Club later in the semester. Communication Club members will assist Poyner in judging. Essay and oratory prizes for first and second places will be $200 and $100, respectively.

Art contest entries also should be submitted to Poyner by Feb. 28. Create a faux poster (11 inch x 17 inch) promoting a “live” presidential speech from Lincoln announcing the Emancipation Proclamation to the nation. What would this poster look like in today’s visual aesthetic, or how would it have looked in the 1860s? What message/concept in the design would speak to a broad audience or to a very targeted audience? Alternatively, create a faux poster on behalf of a social movement advancing or celebrating emancipation. Winning art will be added to the Schwengel Lincoln Collection in Special Collections at Pickler Memorial Library. Art prizes for first and second places will be $200 and $100, respectively.

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