Contest Connects People Around the World

The US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has organized a very interesting online video contest in an effort to create an online community of people dedicated to bridging cultures and making a positive difference in the world. As a ONE member, you may find this as a great opportunity to teach about those suffering from extreme poverty or preventable disease AND get the chance to win a trip abroad.

People all over the world ages 14 and older are invited to submit videos, no longer than three minutes in length, containing any form of artistic expression including, but not limited to, dance, spoken word, poetry, and song. This contest is a call for engagement and action. Videos will be judged on originality, creativity, effectiveness, and production quality. Four winners (two in each of the age categories: 14-17 years and 18+ years; one non U.S., one U.S.) will receive the grand prize: an all-expense-paid, two-week cultural exchange program to the United States (for the non-U.S. winners) or from the United States to a country to be determined (for the U.S. winners). Members of the ExchangesConnect international social network community will vote on their favorite top 40 video entries, and these entries will then will be ranked by a prestigious panel of judges who are ECA program alumni.

In addition to receiving global recognition of their videos-on the ExchangesConnect network and through other promotional venues-the four grand prize winners will be eligible to participate in a fully-funded international exchange program of approximately two week’s duration. (Visa eligibility applies.) Contest opened December 1, 2008 and closes January 26, 2009. Winners will be announced March 16, 2009. Create and enter your videos now on the new international social network ExchangesConnect here for a chance to win an international experience of a lifetime.

The panel of judges includes:

  • Toni Blackman – Musician, Performer and Writer (U.S. Cultural Envoy and The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad alumna);
  • Fran Drescher – Actress; Founder, Cancer Schmancer Movement (American Public Diplomacy Envoy);
  • Milton Glaser – Graphic Artist (Fulbright Program alumnus);
  • Raafat Khalid – President, Cultural Civic Education Organization, Egypt (International Visitor Leadership Program alumnus);
  • Bob Shaye – Founder and Former Co-Chairman, New Line Cinema; Principal UNIQUE FEATURES (Fulbright Program alumnus); and
  • Bob Simon – CBS News Correspondent (Fulbright Program alumnus).

-Adrienne Sullivan and Michele Peters