2014 Essay Contest: The Power of Place

ESSAY CONTEST OVERVIEW

Mizel Museum and “The Power of Place:”
As a Jewish cultural institution, the role of the Mizel Museum is to illuminate the multiple perspectives that make up the Jewish experience. For more than thirty years, our exhibits and programs have used art and education to explore Jewish culture, history and viewpoints. Now in the wake of natural and human-caused disasters like the recent wildfires, flooding and Aurora shooting, the ground is ripe for exploration of the power and importance of place to our individual and collective identities and worldviews. In 2014, the Mizel Museum will focus on “The Power of Place,” a universal theme for people of all backgrounds that has particular significance within Jewish culture. The Museum’s programming will include a presentation by New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Thomas Friedman.

Intro to Essay Contest:
We are interested in exploring how one’s sense of place influences his or her work (as a journalist, historian, etc). Thomas Friedman has said about his work as a columnist, “I’ve always thought that to be a successful columnist…it’s important to be from somewhere – that you’re grounded in a world view that you take around the world, and you measure against other things you see. I am always looking for Minnesota.”

Essay Prompt:
Examine the ways in which your worldview is situated in place—however you interpret that. What is most apparent? How does your sense of place shape your perspectives and your work?

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