A local public relations firm is looking to build off the hundreds of smiles during last year’s Miles of Smiles event in downtown with a Schenectady Smiles Photo Contest this summer.
Buzz Media Solutions is partnering with several organizations to launch a photo contest, art show and pep rally all with the theme of smiles. The photo contest begins on June 15 with entries due by July 27.
“This year we wanted to be more inclusive and accessible and expand further into Schenectady’s neighborhoods,” said Jeff Goronkin of Buzz Media. “The Schenectady Smiles Photo Contest is a great way to achieve that and really open up the community appreciation effort to all parts of the city.”
The contest has five categories featuring the city of Schenectady: Diversity (people, art, culture and food); community vitality (walkable and vibrant places, transportation and neighborhood pride); natural environment (lakes, rivers, preserves, parks, sky and wildlife); architecture and urban design (plazas, buildings, neighborhoods and boulevards); and businesses and organizations (businesses, nonprofits, schools and clubs).
Each person is allowed to submit up to five photos in each of the categories. Judges will choose photo contest winners with first and second place prizes along with a people’s choice award for each category from an online poll.
Digital photos can be submitted at the Daily Gazette’s website at dailygazette.com/schenectadysmiles.
“The Daily Gazette is happy to be a part of this community-building event,” said Daily Gazette Editor Judy Patrick. “We’re also very excited to see our city through the lens of all the contest participants.”
To submit photos, individuals must be 13 years or older. Digital photos cannot be larger than 4 megabytes. Photos must be taken between May 1 and July 27.
Photo entries are due by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27. Awards and prizes will be announced on August 17. Voting for the people’s choice awards will run from July 27 through August 10.
The photos will be displayed on the Daily Gazette’s website and winners’ photos will be put on display in an art exhibit at Schenectady City Hall in August.
The pep rally and awards ceremony will be held on the steps of City Hall at 10:30 a.m. on August 17.
People are encouraged to share photo contest activity on social media using the hashtag #SchenectadySmiles.
Partners in the contest include the Gazette, Capital Region Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation, MVP Healthcare, Transfinder and Schenectady County Community College.
Buzz Media Solutions hosted a Miles of Smiles event in downtown Schenectady in August 2015 that drew about 1,000 people with a variety of smiles along the mile stretch of State Street. The goal of the campaign was to have local residents and employees display their pride for Schenectady.
Reach Gazette reporter Haley Viccaro at 395-3114, [email protected] or @HRViccaro on Twitter.