1/12/23: Step Into the Light at Cow Palace

The Cow Palace is hosting a creative competition to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a focus on “speaking out” and encouraging youth to share their voice respectfully and effectively.

The contest celebrates and builds on Dr. King’s historic Cow Palace appearance. Entries should be respectful to all cultures, races, religions, and orientations, and be uplifting and inspiring. Students will submit work to the Cow Palace where it will be displayed in an exhibit and reception open to the public on Thursday, January 12th from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Students, their families, and friends are invited to attend.

Who Can Enter?

All high school students from public, private, and alternative schools in San Mateo County and San Francisco County.

What are the Important Dates?

  • December 21st: Deadline to submit entry form.
  • January 5th: Deliver Exhibits (Art & Photography should be submitted in person)
    o Poetry, Essays, and TikTok may be submitted digitally by emailing SITL at cowpalace.com
  • January 12th: Celebration at Cow Palace

Contest Categories:

Literary Arts:  Essay
Literary Arts:  Poetry
Family Poster
Fine Arts
TikTok Video

Press Release:

The Cow Palace invites High School Students to “Step into the Light”

The Cow Palace will be hosting a brand-new youth arts event to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday in 2023. The event is inspired by Dr. King’s visit to the Cow Palace in 1964, his address to the Republican national convention, and the famous photograph taken during that speech. The inspiring image shows the civil rights leader under the spotlight while addressing the huge crowd on the issue of housing equity.

In this free, artistic competition, high school students are invited to share their own compelling message about issues that are important to them. Contestants will create visual art, essays, poems, photographs, and videos in a respectful and inclusive way. All work will be displayed at a reception to be held on January 12th from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Cow Palace. At this reception, all participants will be recognized for their work and the outstanding winners in each category will be announced.

“The Cow Palace has a long history as an entertainment venue, but it also has political history. This contest brings an historical event and this inspirational figure into current times in a tangible, expressive way,” states Dr. Allison Keaney, CEO of the Cow Palace. “In the world of social media, opinion bashing has become all too frequent. This contest invites high school students to shine a light on their concerns and issues in a way that is respectful, creative, and invites discussion.” Dr. Lois Moore, co-designer of the event, educator, and frequent speaker at events honoring Dr. King’s legacy adds, “We hope this program will grow into an event where high school students can come and learn about ways that will help them better prepare for the leadership roles that will be called to fill in their coming years.”

Click here to access the entry form.

Questions about the contest? Please email SITL at cowpalace.com

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