Common Cause Announces Cambridge, MA Artist as Winner in 2021 “My Voice, My Art, Our Cause” Artivism Contest

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CAMBRIDGE — Today, Common Cause announced Mithsuca Berry, 21, of Cambridge, MA is a third-place winner in the 2021 Artivism Contest.

The competition was designed by the Common Cause Student Action Alliance to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Common Cause and the passage of the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. In the organization’s first-ever virtual competition bridging art with activism, youth nationwide were invited to submit art that expressed their perspectives on key democracy issues.

“Our democracy is strongest when everyone has a voice, regardless of age, zip code, or income,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause. “The 2021 Artivism winners represent the creativity of the next generation that’s working to build a more vibrant and inclusive democracy. Common Cause will continue working with youth advocates to champion the changes needed to ensure young people can have a say in the decisions impacting their futures.”

The Artivism Contest invited youth ages 14-28 to raise their voices on any set of nine democracy issues, including access to voting, campaign finance reform, fighting against gerrymandering, and more. Contest winners’ art will be featured in the Common Cause Shop on select apparel and merchandise. Winners also receive cash prizes, with $1,500 for first place, $800 for second place, and $600 for third place.

Berry’s artwork was submitted in the Free Speech & Freedom to Protest category.

“My work of art is a fight for visibility. There are so many cycles of silencing that happens in our country – and it’s keeping us from true liberation. Safety should not be something we should need to fight for,” Berry said. “This pandemic timeline has exposed so much that is in need of healing and justice. The moment to rest brought us back into our bodies, to process what is keeping us from peace. Marginalized communities are those impacted by that the most. If we are truly in a country that encourages the pursuit of happiness – why are there so many systems in placed meant to make that impossible. My use of illustration in this is to catch the eye visually – but make this conversation accessible. I want to encourage banding together as it amplifies our collective needs. We are trying to usher in a new future and that is strengthened by creating space for one another.”

Berry’s work depicts people voting, protesting and planting flowers. Phrases including “Democracy means we create promising futures” and “Community needs come first” are in the foreground. The winning art was one of three winners in the 18–23-year-old age group. Berry is one of seven winners representing seven cities from California to North Carolina. Submissions were due September 30 and voting, open to all, took place every day from October 1 through November 2.

“We thank everyone who participated for bringing their unique perspectives and creativity to the 2021 Artivism Contest,” said Alyssa Canty, director of youth programs  at Common Cause. “We look forward to working with the winners to showcase their art and help inspire more youth to make their voices heard for a democracy that is inclusive of every voice.”

To see the full list of 2021 Artivism Contest Winners and their artwork, click here.

To shop apparel and merchandise featuring the 2021 Artivism Contest Winners, click here.