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Poetry Out Loud Finalists Advance to State Competition
Feb. 5, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. –The South Carolina Arts Commission congratulates the finalists in the state's 2014-2015 Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. All nine students advance to the March 14 state finals to compete for South Carolina's spot in the Poetry Out Loud national finals and a shot at a $20,000 scholarship.
Region 1: Upstate
- Jamie Montagne, Spartanburg Day School, Spartanburg County
- Josh Mugabe, York Preparatory Academy, York County
- Nora Grace Smith, Spartanburg High School, Spartanburg County
Region 2: Midlands
- Blythe Catherine Weddle, Fox Creek High School, Edgefield County
- Dasha Miller, Westwood High School, Richland County
- Gretchen LeGrand, Aiken High School, Aiken County
Region 3: Lowcountry
- Autumn Smith, Goose Creek High School, Berkeley County
- Natalie Myers, Scholars Academy, Horry County
- Amani Huell, Waccamaw High School, Horry County
Students advanced from school-wide competitions to one of three regional competitions held in Spartanburg, Blythewood and Charleston Jan. 24-25. The state finals will be held March 14 at the Columbia Museum of Art, and the state champion will compete in the national finals April 28-29 in Washington, D.C.
The state champion receives $200, a $500 stipend to purchase poetry books for their school library, and an all-expense paid trip to the national finals. The runner-up receives $100 and a $200 poetry book stipend for their library.
Poetry Out Loud, a program created in 2005 by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, builds on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement. Students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage while gaining an appreciation of poetry. Last year more than 365,000 students nationwide competed. The winner received a $20,000 scholarship.
Statewide partners include the Columbia Museum of Art, the South Carolina Department of Education and South Carolina ETV Radio's “Speaking of Schools” Program with Doug Keel. Regional partners include Hub City Writers Project in Region 1, Bravo Blythewood and the University of South Carolina Sumter - Division of Arts and Letters in Region 2, and the College of Charleston School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts in Region 3.
For more, contact Frances Kablick Keel at FMKablick@arts.sc.gov.
About the South Carolina Arts Commission:
The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants and leadership initiatives in three areas: arts education, community arts development and artist development. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.