Kids! Deadline for Art Contest Extended to December 13, 2013.

All Artists to be Showcased at the Kershner Gallery

Be Stigma-Free and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Fairfield announce an exciting new development in their inaugural art contest for area Kindergarten – 5th grade students. The young artists’ work will be featured during a two-day gallery showing at the Kershner Art Gallery located in the Fairfield Public Library on February 24-25, 2014. The Opening and award ceremony will take place on Monday, February 24 at 5:00 pm. With this new development the deadline for entries has been extended to December 13, 2013.

The art contest invites children to make art that conveys how it feels when someone is unkind to them because they are different. It is a child-friendly way of beginning a dialogue about mental illness, a brain disorder that affects one in four people. Many people are uncomfortable talking about it due to stigma and shame.

Cheryll Houston, co-founder of Be Stigma-Free and the vice president of NAMI Fairfield, explains her hopes for strong participation. “We would love to hear from as many children as possible. We are hoping that the process of creating art for this contest generates opportunities for children and parents to talk about feelings, and to continue to build awareness and better understanding of differences.”

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to showcase our young artists’ work at the Kershner Gallery,” said Loretta Jay, also co-founder of Be Stigma-Free and NAMI Fairfield Board member. “The Fairfield Public Library’s support means so much to us. It is a wonderful demonstration of its commitment to the community.”

In addition to recognition at the award ceremony, the artwork will be posted on Be Stigma-Free’s soon-to-be-launched website. In the spring a successful Essay Contest was held; essays can be found at www.StigmaFreeCT.com. Stigma-Free CT is a collaboration between NAMI Fairfield and Be Stigma-Free, an advocacy, education and awareness organization.

The art contest is open to elementary school children living in Fairfield, Westport, Norwalk, Wilton, Weston, Easton, Bridgeport, Stratford, Trumbull, Monroe and Newtown. Prizes will be awarded from Yellow Moon Toy Store, Silver Ribbon jewelry store and Game Stop. A panel of NAMI Fairfield Board Members and community representatives will choose the winners. Artwork will be judged on the ability to motivate action or inspire change, creativity and originality, and content and authenticity. For more information and the complete list of Rules and Regulations, please visit the Stigma-Free CT’s website at www.StigmaFreeCT.com

For more information on NAMI Fairfield’s mental health efforts and supportive services, please visit www.NAMIFairfield.org.

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