Anne Frank Contest Features Young Rap Artists

Friday, June 25, 2021

Anne Frank competition winner
Contestant Janina Jackson and William Blair investment banker Philipp Mohr at 2021 Anne Frank Art Competition in Frankfurt.

The annual Anne Frank art competition, sponsored by William Blair, featured up-and-coming rap artists who used their music and voices to address social injustice, discrimination, and racism.

Now in its eight year, the contest honors the legacy of Anne Frank, a brave Jewish girl from Frankfurt, who wrote of her experiences while hiding from the Nazis during World War II.

Traditionally a visual art contest, the competition took a twist in 2021 to spotlight rap. Some 34 youth participated, teenagers to young adults, who expressed their passions against discrimination during a performance held June 21 at the Anne Frank Centre in Frankfurt.

William Blair investment banker Philipp Mohr, who heads the firm’s Frankfurt office, founded the competition in 2014 and partners with the Anne Frank Educational Centre to hold the event.

The central theme of the 2021 competition was discrimination in its various forms, with the terror experienced last year in Hanau, Germany, an underlying message of contestants, Mohr said. In February 2020, a racist far-right extremist killed nine people in Hanau.

The top performer was Janina Jackson with her original rap about the need for tolerance and equality to combat prejudice around the world.

“I loved the diversity of the songs and the expressions,” Mohr said. “I loved that the anger about the discrimination was vocal, it was loud, it was clear, it was strong, it was beautiful!”

The art competition is held each June—the month of Anne Frank’s birthday. Frank, born on June 12, 1929, would have been 92 years old this year. She died at the age of 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany.

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