Second Democracy Video Challenge launched

First year attracted 900 videos from 95 countries

The Democracy Video Challenge is launching its second annual competition Tuesday, International Democracy Day, at the United Nations.

Richard Engel, NBC News chief foreign correspondent, is serving as master of ceremonies for the contest's global launch. The Challenge again invites people from around the world to create video shorts of 3 minutes or less that complete the phrase: "Democracy is..." in an effort to enhance the global dialogue on democracy.

"Art is meant to engage us, not merely distract us, and needs a robust democracy for it to thrive. Artists everywhere have a civic obligation to speak up fearlessly and courageously on issues, regardless of how difficult they might be," Mary Schmidt Campbell, dean of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, a partner in the Challenge, said.

In its inaugural year, the Challenge attracted more than 900 videos from 95 countries around the world.

The Challenge honors winners from every region of the world: Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Europe, the Near East and North Africa, South and Central Asia, and the Western Hemisphere.

Contestants may also submit videos anonymously for special recognition. The winning videos are selected by global online voting and can be seen at

The Challenge's partners include the Center for International Private Enterprise, the International Republican Institute, the International Youth Foundation, the Motion Picture Association of America , the National Democratic Institute, NBC Universal, NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, the Recording Industry Association of America, TakingITGlobal, USC's Annenberg School for Communication, the U.S. Department of State and YouTube.