On August 12, 2017, hundreds of teens, families & friends came together in the Carnegie Lecture Hall to celebrate the creative achievements of both the Labsy Awards and the Ralph Munn Creative Writing Contest, during what is now known as the Teen Media Awards.
Starting the night off with a musical bang were teen performers Jeremy Levin and Nadia Huber, who showed off their collaborative skills a year after winning 1st and 2nd place for music in last year’s Teen Media Awards event.
Next up was our Library Director and President, Mary Frances Cooper, who gave an impassioned speech on the importance of teens having a voice in the community, using the Library as a platform where they come for information and inspiration so that they can make and do, and how amazing it is to read and see their work.
Mary Frances then introduced an incredible video about past Labsy winners and current Labs locations around the system, created by Emmai Alaquiva and Ya Momz House (check it out below):
Then it was time for the main event: To announce the 2nd and 1st place winners, along with honorable mentions for each category. Yours truly and Jesse Landis-Eigsti, Teen Specialists at CLP-Main (Oakland) served as MC and musical entertainment, respectively, during the event. Teens were cheered on as their creations were projected on stage, and came up to receive their awards. Some gave a simple smile and wave, others took the mic to thank people in their lives that helped them succeed, and both 1st place winners from the Ralph Munn Creative Writing contest read aloud their poetry and prose.
As a special treat, Youth Express was live backstage during the event to broadcast the ceremony as part of the Saturday Light Brigade podcast. To hear the full podcast, visit their SoundCloud page.
The ceremony concluded with a trip through the museum and into the First Floor of Main Library for an after-hours reception and debut of the new Teenspace. Teens and their families got to decorate T-shaped cookies, snap photos with their awards and interview the Saturday Light Brigade.
All in all, this was an amazingly successful night of celebrating the creativity and talent of Pittsburgh’s youth, and we hope it will encourage even more teens to share their work and passion with us next year.
For a look at the winners and honorable mentions from this year’s event, read the press release here. If you’d like to check out ALL of the Labsy submissions, you can do so here and here.
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