Kentucky Champion Places as Finalist in Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Dean Muir just returned from an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. After the first round of the contest on April 30th, Muir placed as a finalist to compete on May 1st. All twelve finalists received a $1,000 scholarship. The winner, Amanda Fernandez from Duke Ellington School for the Arts in Washington, D.C., received a $20,000 scholarship prize.
“We are extremely pleased with how well Kentucky has been represented in this competition. Dean Muir, who came in second place in Kentucky last year, worked very hard to become Kentucky champion for 2007, and then went on to be in the national finals. Last year, Kendra Holloway from Christian County High School, was our Kentucky first place winner, and she also made the finals in the national competition,” said Lori Meadows, Executive Director of the Kentucky Arts Council. “We have some amazing talent in Kentucky.”
The Kentucky Arts Council annually sponsors the statewide Poetry Out Loud competition that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition. This year, students from 15 high schools across the commonwealth participated with classroom work, resident artists (theatre, storytelling and literary arts) coaching, classroom competitions and school wide competitions.
Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by building on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the popularity of rap music among youth. Through Poetry Out Loud, students can master public speaking skills, build self confidence and learn about their literary heritage. Now in its second year of national competition, Poetry Out Loud has inspired thousands of high school students to discover classic and contemporary poetry. To find out how to get involved in the 2008 Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest, visit www.poetryoutloud.org.
NOTE TO EDITORS: High-resolution, print-quality photo available at http://artscouncil.ky.gov/Press_Images/Muir_Dean_KyWritersDay07.jpg.
Photo caption: Dean Muir performing “The Weary Blues” by Langston Hughes at Kentucky Writers’ Day Celebration on April 24, 2007 at the Capitol in Frankfort.
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The Kentucky Arts Council is a state agency in the Commerce Cabinet that creates opportunities for Kentuckians through the arts. Every $1 in grant funds awarded by the Kentucky Arts Council helps grantees secure $15 in earned income and matching funds from individuals, philanthropic sources and other levels of government. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.