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State Arts Council and Partners Announce State Poetry Out Loud Finals March 5

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, VSA arts Rhode Island, and the RI Teaching Artists Center will hold the12th Annual State Finals for Poetry Out Loud, the national poetry recitation contest for high school students, on Sunday, March 5, 2017, 1 p.m. at The Metcalf Auditorium located in RISD Museum of Art's Chace Center. High school students from throughout Rhode Island will participate in the State Finals, reciting poems selected according to the national competition rules. The event will also feature Tina Cane, Rhode Island State Poet Laureate. Tina Cane is a nationally recognized published poet, translator and founder/director of Writers-in-the-Schools, RI. The event is free and open to the public.

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. The Rhode Island program also offers the services of a teaching artist poet to help prepare students. Similar to the Spelling Bee process, Poetry Out Loud begins at the classroom level. Winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to the state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, D.C. More than 394,000 students across the country are expected to take part in Poetry Out Loud this year more than 2,600 of them from Rhode Island.

At the Rhode Island State Final, contestants will recite works they selected from an anthology of more than 500 classic and contemporary poems. Participating schools this year include:

Barrington Christian Academy Block Island School Bishop Hendricken High School Central Falls High School Central High School Chariho Regional High School Classical High School Johnston High School Moses Brown School North Kingstown High School The Paul Cuffee School Portsmouth Abbey St. Patrick's Academy School One Scituate High School

"The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is excited about Poetry Out Loud as one of the ways that we provide access to the arts for our high school age citizens," says Sherilyn Brown, Director of the State Council's Education Program. "Each year students impress us with their heartfelt and moving interpretations of a wide variety of poems."

"We want students to know that poetry belongs to everyone," says Jeannine Chartier, Director of VSA arts RI. "Poetry Out Loud is an inclusive program that welcomes all kids - with and without disabilities - from throughout our state to communicate and share with all Rhode Islanders the power of poetry. Through the school project and public performances we hope to shine a light on our successful students and their talents."

Poetry Out Loud is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Poetry Foundation, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and VSA arts Rhode Island.

For more information on the State Finals, contact VSA arts RI at 725-0247.

Poetry Out Loud Prizes

The winner of the Poetry Out Loud Rhode Island finals will receive $200, and the winner's school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The second place finalist will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library. The state champion of the Poetry Out Loud Rhode Island final will receive an all-expenses-paid trip (with a chaperone) to compete in the National Finals on April 24- 26, 2017 at the Lisner Auditorium, George Washington University in Washington, DC. The Poetry Out Loud National Finals will award a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends, with a $20,000 college scholarship for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

About the National Endowment for the Arts The NEA is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts both new and established bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the largest national funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.

About the Poetry Foundation The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine and one of the largest literary organizations in the world, exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs. For more information, please visit

About the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is a state agency supported by appropriations from the Rhode Island General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. RISCA provides grants, technical assistance and staff support to arts organizations and artists, schools, community centers, social service organizations and local governments to bring the arts into the lives of Rhode Islanders.

About VSA arts Rhode Island VSA arts Rhode Island is a non-profit arts and education organization dedicated to enriching the lives of people with disabilities through active participation in the arts. Since 1986 VSA arts RI has provided high quality visual, literary and performing arts programs through which children and adults with disabilities of all ethnic, racial and economic levels enter the mainstream of the cultural community. VSA arts RI is the only agency in RI which exists solely for the purpose of providing opportunities in the arts by, with and for individuals with disabilities and serves over 20,000 Rhode Islanders each year.

About the Rhode Island Teaching Artists Center The Rhode Island Teaching Artists Center provides a physical and virtual place for Rhode Island-based teaching artists to access resources and idea sharing, serves as a bridge between teaching artists and those in need of teaching artists, and builds the field of the teaching artist profession.

Related links

  • Department or agency: Rhode Island State Council on the Arts
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  • Release date: 02-16-2017

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