3 contests you should know about

"And The Winner Is . . ." Dept.
By PHILIP EIL  |  March 5, 2014

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ASPIRATIONS A Before I Die wall.

The bad news is that you’ve already missed your chance to submit an entry to the Providence Community Library’s “Dear Diorama” contest. After entries were unveiled at the Rochambeau branch on March 4, the grand prize (a $100 gift certificate to Craftland) was ultimately awarded to a moss-covered homage to Watership Down that appeared to have been constructed from the body of a ukulele. The rest of the entrants — mind-boggling miniature renderings of scenes from Water For Elephants, Dune, The Great Gatsby, the Bible, and more — will be on display at Craftland downtown for the upcoming weeks.

The good news, however, is that there are other attention-worthy local contests taking place in the near future. And even if you don’t quite fit the application specs for all of them, each is interesting and newsworthy for its own reasons.

Read on for details.

1) THE PELL CENTER ANDPROJO’S “STORY IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE” STUDENT STORY CONTEST

We give the Providence Journal plenty of flack for their climate-denying op-eds, embarrassing editorials opposing marijuana legalization, and the fact they waited until 2013 to thoroughly acknowledge the digital revolution with their #eWave series. But we’re not opposed to giving them credit, either. In this case, the ProJo has earned our applause by co-sponsoring — along with the Pell Center at Salve Regina University — a call to high school and college students for three-minute YouTube films spurring awareness and action about childhood poverty in the US.

The contest is a symbol of things we don’t see often enough on Fountain Street. It’s digitally savvy, socially conscious, aimed toward a younger generation (i.e., the readers and potential subscribers of the future), and it breaks down the frequently impermeable walls between the Journal, as an institution, and the rest of the world. The winners will be unveiled at the second annual Journal/Pell Center “Story in the Public Square” Story Day at Salve on Friday, April 11.

Let’s have more of this kind of thing, please, ProJo. And, uh, fewer op-eds from octogenarians who advise readers to kick drug addictions by learning to snowboard and/or reading the newspaper. Yes, that really happened.

ELIGIBILITY: Any high schooler or collegian enrolled at an accredited school in the US.

PRIZE: A grand prize of $1000, plus two honorable mentions. All winners will be honored at Story Day and their films will be posted on the Pell Center’s website.

DEADLINE: All submissions due by midnight on March 30.

DETAILS: salve.edu/pellCenter/projects/publicSquare/studentContest.aspx

2) CONGRESSMEN JIM LANGEVIN AND DAVID CICILLINE’S STUDENT APP CHALLENGE

What apps does Congressman Cicilline use? Orbitz, Facebook, WJAR 10, Southwest Airlines, NPR, Find My iPhone, Air BnB, Citizens Bank, and Capitol Bells, which, “By picking up radio signals sent from the U.S. Capitol Building” its iTunes page explains, “provides real-time vote updates from the floors of both chambers of Congress.”

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