Mayor's 2004 Cherry Blossom Poster Contest Winners Announced

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Mayor's 2004 Cherry Blossom Poster Contest Winners Announced

(Washington, DC) Mayor Anthony A. Williams hosted the annual Mayor's Cherry Blossom Poster Contest for students from the District of Columbia Public Schools system. Coordinated by the Office of the Secretary, the contest is scheduled to coincide with spring's annual National Cherry Blossom Festival.

While taking time to learn more about Japan, students had an opportunity to express their interpretations of the theme through their artwork. The 2004 awards ceremony was held just before the beginning of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which attracted more than 1 million visitors to the nation's capital this year. While one of the goals of the contest is to recognize some of DC's best and brightest students, teachers also use it as an opportunity to educate students about Japanese culture and promote the friendship that the US has enjoyed with Japan.

Students began working on their pieces in January and were asked to submit their entries before the end of February. Five judges chose 10 winners and three Honorable Mention participants, who received their awards March 25, 2004. With close to 100 very gifted DC Public School students participating in the contest, choosing winners certainly presented a challenge. The theme of the contest was "Cherry Blossoms: Remembering 150 Years of Peace and Friendship with Japan." This theme was incorporated into the students' posters and they were judged on their creativity and originality.

Southwest Airlines and Target were among those that donated prizes for the winning students and other participants. The Smithsonian Institution's Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery were gracious enough to hold the ceremony in their Meyer Auditorium. As the galleries that make up the National Museum of Asian Art, this was the ideal setting to recognize the students' artistic accomplishments. Following the ceremony, students were given tours of the museum. Photos of the winning posters may be viewed on this website.