City of Seattle

Ed Murray, Mayor


SUBJECT:   Mayor announces outreach effort on gun violence
5/7/2013  10:24:00 PM

Mayor announces outreach effort on gun violence
Weapons to Words will use art to inspire kids to write about ending gun violence

SEATTLE - Today Mayor Mike McGinn announced an outreach effort to inspire conversation among the youth of Seattle about gun violence. The City of Seattle, with the support of Chihuly Studio and Schnitzer Steel is launching a contest called "Weapons to Words" that asks children in Seattle to come up with a short quotation on the subject of gun violence. Plaques made from metal upcycled from guns recovered from Seattle’s gun buyback program will feature quotes from Seattle students about what a violence-free future means to them.

"Our city has been through a lot lately. Gun violence has left many in our community wondering what they can do to help" said Mayor McGinn. "These upcycled plaques, inscribed with the hopes and dreams of the next generation, will transform weapons of violence into something positive. It is my hope that this project will spur a conversation in our community about what kind of city we want to be, and how we can get there together."

The plaques, made from upcycled steel that includes the weapons we recovered, will be placed in Seattle parks. Chihuly Studio is helping to design the upcycled plaques and The Office of Arts & Culture will convene a panel to select the entries from the students to be engraved on the plaques.

"The history of gun violence in our city is tragic" said recently appointed Director of the Office of Arts and Culture Randy Engstrom. "This initiative underlies the ways in which the creative process can be used to confront challenging social issues."

Students can enter by submitting their quote on the subject of gun violence to, where you can also find contest guidelines and rules. Contest entries should come from students in the first through twelfth grades living in Seattle, and should be no more than 50 words. The panel will select the winning entries by September 15th, 2013. 

"Chihuly Studio is proud to support this program" said Leslie Jackson Chihuly, President of Chihuly Studio. "Weapons to Words allows our youth to express themselves in their own way about the world in which they are growing up. I have confidence in them, and I know this contest will bring out the best in all."

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Office of the Mayor