Morton Grove considers photo contest to promote new tagline

By Igor Studenkov | Bugle Staff

The Morton Grove Community Relations Commission is putting together a village-wide photography contest.  The initiative is designed to promote the new village tagline – “Incredibly Close and Amazingly Open.” Residents would be invited to submit photos that they feel best reflect the tagline. There are some restrictions – the commission members agreed that they didn’t want submissions to feature nudity.  But otherwise, they wanted to give the contestants as much leeway as possible and encourage them to interpret the theme any way they see fit.

The process is currently in the early stages.

The commission put together a sub-committee to hammer out the rules and requirements. The sub-committee will meet later this month, and the full commission will discuss it during the next meeting, which has been scheduled for March 8 at 6:30 p.m.

The idea for the contest was originally suggested by Morton Grove Village Manager Ralph Czerwinski, who asked the commission to figure out how it could be implemented. It was introduced during the commission’s Feb. 9 meeting.

Village attorney Terry Liston, who served as a staff liaison to the commission, said that it would be up to the members to establish the structure and establish the criteria. Because the village commissions are advisory, the board technically has the final say over what the rules are, but Liston said that, unless the village trustees see any “red flags,” they were comfortable with going with whatever the commission comes up with.

One example of the “red flag” was allowing nudity – which all the members of the commission agreed wouldn’t be a good idea.

Chairperson Arcelia Pimentel said that the contest would be open to adults and teens from local high schools.

“We are going to put it out there and invite [high] schools to have their students submit photographs,” she said. “We want to get as much participation as possible.”

The commission currently aims to start the contest after spring break.

Liston said that Czerwinski suggested picking six winners, and to print their photos and put them on display in some public space.

Pimentel said that she hoped if the first contest is successful, it could become a regular event.

There are still many things that the commission hasn’t finalized. During the meeting, members wondered about what format the photos would be in, what size they would be printed out in and where exactly they would be displayed.

Commission member Bob Burkhart said that it was important to ensure that the legal permissions are sorted out before the village asks contestants to submit anything.

After a brief discussion, the commission agreed that members Vinu Varughese and Dean Engel would work with Liston to develop the rules and report back during the next meeting.

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