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Growing Up in America

Why was the name of the contest changed?

AACI is celebrating our 50th anniversary this year, and we are excited to announce some changes to the contest.  In the same way that AACI’s primary focus has grown from just the Asian community and expanded to include support for people of all ethnic backgrounds, we are also increasing the focus of the contest to encourage participation from students of all ethnic backgrounds.  To reflect this expansion, the contest name will be changed from Growing Up Asian in America to Growing Up in America (GUA).

Who is eligible to participate in the contest?

All kindergarten through 12th grade students in any school in the nine (9) Bay Area counties are eligible to participate, regardless of their background or cultural identity.

Is the contest only for Asian & Pacific Islander American students?

The contest is open to students of all backgrounds.

What are the categories for submission?

Participants can submit their entries in three categories: art, essay, and video-making. Each category offers a unique platform for creative expression.

Are there any specific themes for the contest entries?

The contest’s theme has been revealed with the official announcement of the competition. Just like in previous years, we encourage participants to explore the theme in relation to their experiences, values, or aspirations. The goal is to celebrate their individuality in connection with their diverse cultural, environmental, and social background.

What is the timeline for this contest?

The theme of the contest will be announced on February 01, 2024. The competition will open for submission on March 1, 2024 and will remain open for 15 days. The deadline for submitting entries is March 15, 2024. Late submissions will not be considered, so we encourage participants to adhere to the deadline.

The winners will be declared in the first week of May 2024

When is the deadline?

The deadline for Growing Up Asian in America is March 15, 2024 at 11:59 PM PST.

When will submission forms open?

Submission forms will open on March 1, 2024 at 8 AM.

How can I submit my entries?

Participants can submit their entries through our online submission portal. All submissions must follow the guidelines provided on this page. Detailed instructions on the submission process are available for each category. Please remember to click the correct age and category.

Are group submissions allowed in GUA?

Group submissions are allowed only in the video category for Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12. Essays and art categories are individual submissions. 

Why is group submission allowed in the video category?

Video production involves various tasks such as scriptwriting, filming/acting, editing/post-processing, voiceover, etc. Due to this, we will allow multiple students to collaborate on a single submission to provide more opportunities for students to showcase their creativity.

Can I deliver my entry in person or through mail?

No. This year, we are moving our submission process online! Please see the participant page for the online forms to submit. If you have difficulty submitting online, please email us at gua@aaci.org and we can help you!

Can I submit art and essay online?

Yes, all entries will be submitted online this year!

Can I submit entries in multiple categories?

Yes, students are encouraged to showcase their talents in multiple categories. They can submit entries in art, essay, and video-making, expressing their creativity in various ways.

Is there a limit to the number of entries a student can submit?

While a student can submit their work in multiple categories, the number of entries in each category is restricted to one. This ensures that the students focus on quality over quantity to showcase their best work.

How will my entry be judged?

Entries will be judged based on creativity, originality, adherence to guidelines, and the ability to communicate a meaningful message. Our panel of experienced judges will evaluate each entry impartially.

Can my teacher submit entries from many different students in one form?

No, each entry should be submitted in an individual form.

When will winners be notified?

Winners will be notified in late April 2024.

What prizes are available for the winners?

Winners will receive recognition, certificates, and exciting prizes. One (1) $1,000 Lance Lew Grand Prize winner, nine (9) $500 Best in Class winners, and ten (10) honorable mentions winners will be selected from the entries submitted.

Additionally, their works may be featured in promotional materials and on our social media platforms to showcase their talent. All winners will have their entries showcased on the AACI website and have a chance to be featured on NBC Bay Area.

Can I include a description about my artwork?

Yes, there is a section in the submission form that will allow you to share a brief description of your art work.

Can I submit a photograph?

Yes, you may submit a photograph. Please submit in a .PDF, .PNG, and JPG format.

What is the allowed size?

All entries are allowed as long as the file is no more than 250 MB.

What file types are allowed?

Art entries must be in .PDF, .PNG, and JPG format.

Can I submit sculpture or 3D art?

No, you may only submit 2D art such as drawings, paintings, photographs, etc.

Can I write more than 500 words?

No, please keep your essay 500 words or under.

Can I write poems, songs or stories?

Of course. You can write poems, songs or stories! Be as creative as you want!

Can I include quotes from my interviews with older members of my family?

Yes, we encourage you to include quotes or insights from your interview.

What format does it have to be?

Essay entries must be in .PDF or .Word format and be no more than 250 MB in size.

Can I include footage from home movies/videos?

Yes, in accordance with this year’s theme, you may include footage from home movies/videos.

Can I go over 1 minute in my video?

No, please keep your video 1 minute or under.

What about credits?

Your credits do not count as part of your 1 minute video and will not be considered for judging.

What format does it have to be in?

Please submit your video as an .avi, .mov, or .wmv file.

How to submit group entries for the contest?

To submit a group entry for the competition, use the link on our website. Provide details of one member as the point of contact to receive all correspondence related to the contest. List all other members in the video submission section.

Is there a limit to the group size?

Yes, groups must be limited to 3 or less students.

Will the group submissions be judged differently than the single submissions?

All group submissions will be evaluated together with the individual submissions, and only one winner will be selected for each category, regardless of the number of participants. However, the group submissions will be identified separately for the judges to consider and evaluate accordingly.

What will be the prize if a group submission wins a category?

The prize will remain the same whether participating as an individual or a group. Nine category winners will receive $500, and the Grand prize winner will receive $1000. The participants must decide how to distribute the prize money in group participation.

To whom will the winning check be cut out?

The group will select one parent to receive the prize money check. The group members are responsible for sorting out the prize money distribution.

Will the winning piece be recognized as a group submission?

When a group wins an award, all participants’ names are included in the winning announcement to indicate that it is a group submission.

Will each group member receive certificates separately, or will only one certificate be sent to the entire group?

If a group wins, separate certificates will be given out to each group member, recognizing their effort in the winning piece. They will all be mailed to one mailing address provided in the submission form. It is the responsibility of the group members to collect their certificates from that address.