Young Artists and Authors Showcase

YAAS 2023

Tacoma Sister Cities is proud to invite youth from 13 to 18 years of age to submit innovative, thoughtful, and impactful creations that emphasize various aspects of food security, including the impact of climate change on food production and food consumption, in their own communities.

First Prize of $200, Second Prize of $100 and Honorable Mention will be awarded in each of these categories:

  • Classic Art,
  • Digital Art,
  • Photography,
  • Original Music,
  • Poetry,
  • and Prose.

The top 3-5 entries in each category will be invited to submit their entry to the Sister Cities International 2023 Young Artists and Authors Showcase (YAAS).

2023 Winners

Tacoma Sister Cities is proud to announce the winners of its 2023 Tacoma Young Artists and Authors Showcase (YAAS). The theme of this year’s competition was Peace by Piece: Food Security in My Community. 

This year’s student entrants included repeat submissions from two former winners, Victoria Street and Charlotte Southworth, as well as a third-time winning entry from Jayla Howard. These winning entries will now compete in the Sister Cities International YAAS competition. Winners of that competition will be announced at the SCI Youth Summit in August.

In addition to the Tacoma entries, we selected entries in four categories – Digital Art, Art-Classic Medium, Photography, and Poetry – from 38 total entries from our Sister City Fuzhou, China. These selected entries will also compete in the Sister Cities International event. 

Tacoma Sister Cities would like to thank all the young people who submitted entries and wish good luck to those who are competing at the international level.

Congratulations to these Tacoma entrants!

NOTE: To view an entry, follow the link included in the description.


LyMiaya Phillips – Stadium High School – Title: “In Plain Sight”

In Plain Sight.jpg

What inspired you to create this work?

“I have lived in the city my whole life, so the nature of this crowded urban setting is no stranger to me.  The city has always fascinated me and not in the way one would expect. I find myself thinking of the city as a mixing bowl, with ingredients of poverty, wealth, and hope for change. These ingredients can produce many dishes. Now the irony of this is that one of these dishes is a lack of food security. In an overpopulated city full of food, there are many out there who are unable to obtain this basic need and we are aware of this because, after all, it’s in plain sight.”


1st Prize: Charlotte Southworth – Stadium High School

Title: “Impoverished and Hungry”

Charlotte Southworth_Art re Food Security.jpg

What inspired you to create this work?

“In a developing country, the need to focus on food security, and often just surviving, envelopes daily life. This painting shows an impoverished community in tight living conditions in which the women are gathered and tending to the basic needs of their families, particularly in food preparation.”

2nd Prize: Janae Harper – Lincoln High School

Title: “Decaying Illusions”20230414_211202.jpg

What inspired you to create this work?

“The theme given is REALLY important and is extremely prevalent in my community of Tacoma, Washington, especially in low-income areas, that also happen to be deprived of nutrient-rich food; food deserts. Unfortunately, America is an incredibly car-dependent country and the only place one doesn’t really need a car is dense, urban areas that allow one to easily walk to grocery stores. Pair low-income with no vehicle to living in a food desert with a family to feed. I’ve seen this in my family and many others that live in East Tacoma. That was my inspiration. It represents being trapped by horrific urban planning and having your mind clouded by a lack of human needs.”


1st Prize: Victoria Street – Tacoma School of the Arts

Title: “Reaching” 01F06139-C01E-48CB-B6E6-1E8CBA3BF0B1.jpeg

What inspired you to create this work?

“Being a person of color, there is always this sense of reaching for something greater. In my community, it means more opportunities for the youth and securing their future; a big part of that is food. While it may seem accessible to everyone, food can be expensive (especially healthy food). Places that provide food can be few and far between and/or unkempt. This piece represents the striving that so many individuals do just for a simple meal; something that should be attainable for everyone.”

2nd Prize: Jayla Howard – Lincoln High School  

Title: “Food is a Necessity” EB85E76A-D6CA-4BF0-9EAC-3867ADAC8DD3.tiff

What inspired you to create this work?

“Food security to me means having a source of accessible, affordable, healthy food options. I am well aware that this is not the case for everyone, so in my family, we do not like to waste food or water. There are a lot of people struggling to come across healthy food items. When I was younger, I remember my family and I would use leftover bread to make sandwiches to give to the homeless. Every so often, my mother would give me and my brothers canned foods to donate to the school canned food drives. We did these things, because we understand foods are necessary to be healthy. As time goes on and our world undergoes more changes due to climate change, it will be way harder to grow, distribute, and provide healthy foods, making it even harder for those communities to get the resources they need to survive. I want to help my community now and in the future. I continue to give back and donate when I can. 

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