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Charleston Student Wins State Poetry Out Loud Competition
March 17, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. –The South Carolina Arts Commission announces Nicole Sadek, a sophomore at Charleston County School of the Arts, as the state champion for the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. Sadek advances to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals, which take place April 29-30 in Washington, D.C. The national champion receives a $20,000 scholarship.
As the state champion, Sadek receives $200 and an all-expense paid trip to compete in the national finals. The Charleston County School of the Arts library also receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books.
Sadek was one of nine regional finalists who competed at the Columbia Museum of Art during state finals on March 15. Each recited two poems they had memorized and perfected during school-wide and regional competitions that took place throughout the state from October to January, when more than 4,000 students began the competition. Three students were named state finalists and recited a third poem to determine the winner.
Jamie Montagne, a ninth grader at Spartanburg Day School, was named state runner-up. She receives $100, and her school library receives a $200 poetry book stipend. Joshua Mugabe, a junior at York Preparatory Academy, was the third state finalist.
Other state finals participants were Hawkins Shepard, Spartanburg High School, Spartanburg County; Jazmin Goodwin, Ridge View High School, Richland County; Eden Weidman, Fox Creek High School, Edgefield County; Madalyn Hair, Irmo High School, Lexington County; Sarah Moody, Ashley Hall, Charleston County; and Gabbey Byrd, First Baptist Church High School, Charleston County.
Competition judges were Darion McCloud, creative director of the NiA Theatre Company and a master storyteller; poet Dianne Johnson, professor of English at the University of South Carolina; poet and writer Ed Madden, associate professor of English at USC; and Theresa (T.J.) Wallace, grants and program officer for the Humanities CouncilSC.
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 South Carolina Arts Commission works with several partners to produce Poetry Out Loud: the Columbia Museum of Art, the South Carolina Department of Education, South Carolina ETV Radio's “Speaking of Schools” Program with Doug Keel, Hub City Writers Project (Region 1), Bravo Blythewood and the University of South Carolina Sumter: Division of Arts and Letters (Region 2), the College of Charleston School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts (Region 3).
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.