A black and white photograph of an older man standing over the gravestones at Arlington Cemetery captured a moment. It was the sort of moment that was deemed good enough to win first place in the 2013 Arts of the Albemarle Photo Show and Competition. And it is the type of photograph that the Albemarle Area Commission Agency on Aging is looking for this year.
The agency, says aging program specialist Ashley Lamb, is holding its first-ever Older Americans Photo Contest. It is a contest that is open to any photographer - amateur or professional - ages 18 and up. The only requirement is that the photograph subject be about an older person, ages 60 and over.
“It can be anything,” says Lamb. “Someone at a job, someone volunteering, or participating in something they enjoy.”
There can be two entries per person. People are asked to submit standard sized photographs.
While there is no entry fee, Lamb says there is an entry form. The form can be obtained at her office in Hertford. Call her at 252-426-5753, ext. 232, and the form can be submitted, along with the photo either in person or by using the email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for submission is May 30. The winners will be announced the following week. The Daily Advance will feature the winners in the Albemarle Life section in June.
It is a part of May’s National Older American Awareness Month, a way to celebrate the region’s senior citizens.
While the contest is happening nationally, Lamb says this contest will be regional. The agency, she says, deals with 10 Albemarle area counties, and that fact suggests the potential of a large number of photographs.
Contest entrants must be willing to sign the rights over to the agency.
“We would like to use the photos on our website, and in our office,” she said.
Volunteers will do the judging. Cash prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place winners: First - $150; second - $100; third - $50.
Lamb said this month is the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act. The act that was renewed by Congress in 2006 helped establish a network of area agencies.
The act was signed in 1965, according to information from the Library of Congress. It was the first federal action designed to provide services specifically for older Americans.
It created the National Aging Network. That network, at the federal level, is run by the Administration on Aging. At the state and regional levels it is run by Area Agencies on Aging, such as the one here, in the Albemarle region.
The act was signed into law by then Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson as a part of his Great Society reforms.
The purpose of the Older Americans Act is to ensure equal opportunity for adequate income, physical and mental health services without concern over economic status, housing and long term care.