The Houston Office of Protocol and International Affairs and Sister Cities of Houston are proud to announce that Anna Cho from Houston, Texas was selected as the Grand Prize winner of Sister Cities International’s 2014 Young Artists and Authors Showcase. Anna’s artwork titled “Global Village” was selected as the Grand Prize winner in the U.S. art category. Anna was sponsored by the Houston-Perth Sister City Association, housed within the Australian American Chamber of Commerce.

Additionally, Momoi Tanigawa of Houston’s Sister City Chiba City, Japan was selected as a finalist for her art piece titled “Connect”. The Houston-Chiba Sister City Committee, which is housed within the Japan America Society of Houston, facilitated Chiba City’s entrance into the competition.

“Houston is known for its thriving arts community, diversity and internationalism,” stated Mayor Parker.  “As such, I was delighted to learn that a local student won the grand prize in this year’s art competition,” she added.

Deanea LeFlore, executive director of Houston Office of Protocol and International Affairs stated, “Sister Cities of Houston works to expose Houstonians of all ages and backgrounds to cultures across the world. The art showcase is one of many ways that Houstonians can become involved in the Sister Cities program, which includes activities as diverse as student exchanges, trade missions, and cultural programing.”

For more than two decades, the Young Artists and Authors Showcase has given youth from around the globe the opportunity to express their vision for a more unified, peaceful world through original artwork and literature. The 2014 showcase encouraged youth to submit entries inspired by what the Sister Cities International tagline means to them: “Connect globally. Thrive locally.” The theme challenged youth to express how connectivity has impacted them for the better and enabled their community to thrive.

“For 26 years, youth from around the globe have sent their inspiring work for this showcase. This year’s entries also highlighted immense talent and passion. We’re very excited to share the work of these talented youth with the world on our website and Tumblr,” said Mary D. Kane, Sister Cities International President and CEO.

For more information on the Young Artists and Authors Showcase and copies of the artwork, please email Megha Swamy at mswamy@sister-cities.org. To view all the 2014 Showcase artwork submissions, visit: www.sistercitiesinternational.tumblr.com.

The Houston Office of Protocol and International Affairs, a division of the Mayor’s Office, serves as a resource and the primary point of contact with regard to international affairs, protocol, consular relations, visiting international government representatives, and Houston’s sister cities program.

Photo caption: Memorial High School senior Anna Cho (center) receives a Certificate of Congratulations from Mayor Parker at  city council session.

[Pictured from left to right] Arielle Angelovich, holds a replica of Anna’s winning piece; Ben Cho, father of Anna; Harry Gee, president of Sister Cities of Houston; Anna Cho; Martha Cho, mother of Anna; Mayor Annise Parker; Jerald Broussard, president of Houston-Perth Sister City Association