Joel Jaffe of the Tarzana Neighborhood Council enlisted the artistic talents of 1,200 local young people from Tarzana-area K-7 schools earlier this year in a poster contest.
“The results were spectacular!” said Jaffe. The 1,200 colorful hand-made posters, reflecting the theme, “Making a Difference,” were hung on a fence surrounding the Tarzana Community and Cultural Center. Stacked three high, the poster display stretched for nearly 400 feet.
More than 1,000 people turned out for the Earth Day Celebration event, which also included family activities, plant potting, a bike raffle, and catering from local restaurants.
A juried panel of artists awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes for the best poster examples in several age groups, as well as a grand prize. All 1,200 students received certificates of participation. “Each student was a winner,” Jaffe explained.
Jaffe spearheaded the effort to host the poster contest. After contacting local school administrators, he gained the participation of five of the six local K-7 schools. Jaffe secured $1,250 in funding for art supplies from the Tarzana NC, collected the 1,200 completed works, and organized a team of volunteers to hang them.
Jaffe’s project drew attention from City Councilman Zine and State Congressman Brad Sherman, who were on hand to award certificates of appreciation to the participating schools. The Neighborhood Council plans to make it into an annual event.
Jaffe, a former architect, joined the Tarzan NC six years ago and is the current chair of the Council’s Environment and Energy Committee.
-- A version of this story first appeared in the EmpowerLA.org newsletter.