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For Immediate Release


Jamie Caswell

202-872-2680 (media hotline)

DC Public Library and Pepco Encourage Local Teens to “Know Your Power”

​(Washington, D.C.) - The DC Public Library Foundation and Pepco have teamed up with the DC Public Library to launch a contest that inspires teens to think beyond the traditional notion of power and explore how they can use their art to have a positive impact on their communities and the world, both during this unprecedented time and into the future.

With people across the District of Columbia staying home for our collective safety, the DC Public Library and its partners are taking creative approaches to extend programming into our communities. As part of this effort, Pepco is helping to create an innovative creative arts contest as part of DC Public Library's Summer Challenge 2020, the Library's annual summer learning program. "Know Your Power" asks teens to use writing, photography, illustration and music as a powerful tool to address some of the most pressing social issues of our time.

"Art is a powerful means through which we process our emotions and our understanding of the world around us," said Richard Reyes-Gavilan, executive director of the DC Public Library. "By allowing teens to creatively express their concerns and aspirations, the Know Your Power contest will provide the District's young adults a much-needed artistic outlet and a chance to offer a vision for the future. DC Public Library takes great pride in its ability to provide teens meaningful summer experiences. Know Your Power will strengthen and amplify the Library's successful summer learning programming."

The "Know Your Power" contest will kick off on May 18 with a series of virtual events to help inspire teens to create. Throughout the summer, the Library will post prompts and challenges on Instagram at @dclibraryteens using the hashtag #knowyourpower. All entries must be submitted by August 14.

"Pepco supports strong communities and public libraries are central to any thriving community," said Melissa Lavinson, senior vice president of Governmental and External Affairs for Pepco Holdings and DC Public Library Foundation board member. "This contest provides a unique opportunity for District teens to express what they are thinking and feeling about pressing social issues and find creative ways to be civically engaged."

With support from Pepco, the winning teens will receive prizes to support their continued artistic development, including a laptop, camera, drawing tablet and musical instruments, such as an electric guitar or keyboard.

Visit to learn more about the contest and to learn more about the DC Public Library Foundation and how it supports the work of the library.


About the Know Your Power Contest

  • The Know Your Power contest is open to teens between the ages of 13 and 19.
  • Participants must only submit original work.
  • While participants may submit to multiple categories, they can only submit one entry per category.
  • Participants can only win in one category.
  • Writing can be up to 1,500 words long and be a poem or short story.
  • Photography entries may include 1 - 10 photos that make up a photo story. Photographs cannot be of copyrighted images.
  • Music should be submitted as a .mp3 file and be no longer than 3 minutes.
  • Entries will be judged by Pepco representatives.

About the DC Public Library

The District of Columbia Public Library is a dynamic source of information, programs, books and other library materials and services that improve the quality of life for District residents of all ages that, when combined with expert staff, helps build a thriving city. The Library provides environments that invite reading, community conversation, creative inspiration and exploration, lectures, films, computer access and use, workforce and economic development, storytimes for children, and much more. DC Public Library includes a soon-to-be-modernized central library and 25 neighborhood libraries and also provides services in nontraditional settings outside of the library buildings. DC Public Library enriches and nourishes the lives and minds of all District residents, provides them with the services and tools needed to transform lives, and builds and supports community throughout the District of Columbia.

About the DC Public Library Foundation

The DC Public Library Foundation partners with the DC Public Library to provide a margin of excellence to our city's public libraries, bringing private philanthropy together with government support to ensure that our libraries deliver the highest quality of service to the District's residents. With the help of many generous people, the Foundation provides educational programs for children and youth, workforce development training, cultural events, and collection enhancements for DC's libraries.

About Pepco

Pepco is a unit of Exelon Corporation (Nasdaq: EXC), the nation's leading energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers.  Pepco provides safe and reliable energy service to approximately 894,000 customers in the District of Columbia and Maryland.

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