Photo Contest Shares Reasons Why Residents Mask Up

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Photo courtesy of the City of East Lansing.

The East Lansing Downtown Development Authority recently launched the “Why I Wear a Mask” photo contest, inviting community members to submit a photo of themselves wearing a mask downtown, accompanied by a message indicating their personal reasons for wearing a mask. Those interested have until Feb. 1 to submit their photos and messages.

East Lansing Community Events Assistant Karla Forrest-Hewitt spoke about the contest, which aims to bring the city together.

“I just really want us to feel like a community, even though we are socially distant,” Forrest-Hewitt said. “I think this will be a good way for people to see others in their community, even though we’ve been isolated.”

The contest idea was inspired by the compelling CDC-sponsored “I wear a mask because” campaign, which Forrest-Hewitt connected with.

“I was brainstorming ideas about how we can incorporate safe mask-wearing practices and encourage people to patronize local businesses. If they see other people like themselves working to ensure that everyone in the community is safe, then I figured it could help us encourage safe mask practices, especially since we have such a large student population, tied to MSU – that’s part of the reason why I decided to do this campaign as well.”

Anyone is welcome to submit a digital photo of themselves masked, in any East Lansing location of their choosing. “The idea is to also highlight East Lansing businesses,” Forrest-Hewitt said. “If you look at the requirement, there’s no restriction against a person being a resident or not. People from all around come into East Lansing for business and other things.”

Participants are asked to submit short narratives (30 words or fewer) to accompany their photos.

Photos must include a downtown landmark or business. People are allowed to submit more than one photo. Winners will be announced after the contest ends on Feb. 1, 2021.

The first place winner will be awarded a $100 Downtown East Lansing gift card and a $30 voucher for the East Lansing Downtown Underground Market. The second place winner will receive a $50 Downtown East Lansing gift card, and a $20 market voucher. The third place winner will receive a $25 Downtown East Lansing gift card, and a $20 market voucher. The downtown underground market is currently scheduled to start in Feb. 2021 at the M.A.C. Avenue Garage.

“The idea is that the winners of the contest will serve as some inspiration for others in the community, that they wear the mask not just for themselves, but other people in the community,” Forrest-Hewitt said.

Photos can be submitted here.

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