“What is Your Blueprint … How Will You Live Your Life?”

Each year as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at Virginia Tech, area kindergarten through 12th grade students are invited to participate in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. poster contest.

In partnership with Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. the 2011 winning posters will be displayed Jan. 3 through Jan. 31 in six downtown locations:

* Community Arts Information Office at 149 College Avenue
* The Center of Dance Academy at 460 Turner Street, NW # 101 Collegiate Square
* Kent Square Lobby at 106 East Washington Street
* Mish Mish at 125 North Main Street
* Main Lee Art at 201 South Main Street
* Next Door Bake Shop at 460 Turner Street, NW, #204 Collegiate Square.

According to Silvia Ramos-Cotton, associate director of Diversity Education and Training in the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, “This year 16 schools in the New River and Roanoke Valleys participated in the Martin Luther King Jr. poster contest. We have had a consistent increase in participation from year-to-year, which indicates our youth’s desire to reflect on the impact and relevance of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.”

The purpose of the poster contest is to encourage students to think critically about the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and develop goals that reflect how they will live out the principles of non-violent social change to address problems they witness in their communities.

Posters are judged on how effectively the artwork expresses individuality through unique ideas; how the artwork illustrates imaginative and meaningful ideas; and how well the artwork relates to the theme.

In 1967 Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech titled, “What is Your Life’s Blueprint,” where he challenged a group of students to reflect on how they lived their lives and recommended that they develop a blueprint, or action plan for their legacy. This year’s theme, “What is Your Blueprint … How Will You Live Your Life?” is derived from that speech.

The poster contest is sponsored by Virginia Tech, the Montgomery County-Radford City-Floyd County Branch of the NAACP, Alpha Phi Alpha Inc., Black Student Alliance, The Center of Dance Academy, and the Black Organizations Council.

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion have successfully partnered for the past two years to present the Annual Principles of Community Mixer.

A map of the downtown businesses in Blacksburg displaying winning posters can be seen here:
2011 MLK Art Crawl Map
A complete list of the 2011 poster contest winners is available right here:
2011 MLK Poster Winners

Congratulations to all of the young artists! Thank you to our participating downtown businesses for displaying the beautiful posters. Stop by and take a look!

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