American prominent actor and a United Nations Messenger of Peace Michael Douglas is promoting a U.N. art contest for youngsters to help promote a nuclear-free world.
Participating contestants, those from five to 17 years old, are encouraged to watch a short, age-appropriate video online about the dangers of nuclear weapons, and then use their creative talents to imagine a world free of nuclear weapons, without wars, bombs or fear.
"Art is the universal language. Art speaks to our hearts and minds. Art can make a difference and so can you," Douglas says in a public service announcement seeking contestants. He was not at the U.N. during the announcement Thursday 1 March.
Although the competition is open to all nationalities, Ewen Buchanan, spokesman for the U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs, says "90 per cent of entries so far are from Russia and China"; therefore, he appealed for wider international participation.
Contest information is available in 22 languages and entries must be submitted by 30 April.
The U.N. said all art work will be judged on creativity, composition, theme and technique. Every entry will be posted on the contest website for all participants to share their dream of peace, the U.N. said.
There will be four winners in each age category and the artwork of all winners will be reproduced in a calendar, the U.N. said. Winners in age groups five to eight and nine to 12 will receive art supplies, while winners in the 13 to 17 age group will receive cash prizes ranging from $500 to $100.