Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Some First Amendment Cheer

As everyone struggles to tie loose ends before the holiday break, I hope this blog reminds you to start planning for this year’s First Amendment Symposium at the Indiana Statehouse, March 3, in addition to giving you some information that might make a good final exam or second semester project.

As a way to expand First Amendment activities, this year’s symposium competition will involve some new categories. In addition to the traditional essay contest and David Adams project competition, are a couple of specific categories for graphic artists.

The first is a poster design contest. The poster can be vertical or horizontal but should be 11x17 and illustrate the spirit of the First Amendment through text and/or artistic expression. This is a good way to include your art department or other students at your school in the IHSPA First Amendment initiative.

The second new category is a postage stamp design based on the irony of the Simpson family stamps that were issued last summer. One of the First Amendment studies discovered that more people were able to name the five members of the Simpson family than the five freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment. When I heard about the Simpson postage stamps, I checked to see when postage stamps had been issued to celebrate the First Amendment. The only thing my research uncovered was a Bill of Rights stamp issued in 1992.

Therefore, it’s time for Indiana students to design stamps that celebrate the First Amendment. The challenge is a set of five stamp designs representing each of the guaranteed freedoms. We will submit the winning entries as an idea for a book of stamps—like the Simpson family.

Anyone who promotes these ideas as assignments or First Amendment activities is encouraged choose the one or two best designs and essays and send them to dhadley@franklincollege.edu as a jpeg or PDF by Friday, Feb. 5

Feel welcome to use the sample "Final Exam" assignment from this IHSPA Web page. You'll find the link under "Miscellaneous Resources" on the right-hand side of the "Forms" page.

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