Registration is under way for the Nevada’s 2018 Poetry Out Loud competition and high school teachers and students throughout the state are invited to get involved.
Registration is open to all high-school aged Nevada public, private, charter, parochial and alternative schools and home school associations. Structured similarly to the National Spelling Bee, Poetry Out Loud is focused on literary heritage through memorization and performance of classic and contemporary works.
“The talent and confidence we see in students, who get on stage and make these works their own, is just really remarkable,” said Maryjane Dorofachuk, arts learning director for the Nevada Arts Council, a sponsor of the program. “These teenagers inspire and they learn that words matter.”
The Poetry Out Loud state champion earns $200, wins $500 for his or her school to support literary programs, and travels to Washington, D.C., to compete for $50,000 in scholarships and school prizes at the national finals.
Preparing for the competition, students get the chance to sharpen their analytical skills, discover new things and explore their creative side. The Nevada Arts Council, along with its partners – the Nevada Department of Education and school districts across Nevada – support the state and district competitions, made possible through funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.
Poetry Out Loud begins at the local level as students learn about, memorize and present out loud poetry from the website, www.poetryoutloud.org. In 2017, more than 2,800 students, teachers and coaches participated in Nevada’s Poetry Out Loud. Last year’s state champion Gabrielle Hunt of Lyon County represented Nevada at the national finals.
Teachers are invited to find out more about 2018 Nevada Poetry Out Loud and to register to participate by Dec. 1 at the Nevada Arts Council’s website, nvculture.org/nevadaartscouncil/ or contact Maryjane Dorofachuk at (702) 486-3738 or mdorofachuk@NevadaCulture.org.
The Nevada Arts Council, a division of the Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, is charged with ensuring that state and national funds support cultural activity and encourage participation in the arts throughout Nevada. In addition to providing hundreds of grants to arts and community-based organizations, schools, artists and local municipalities throughout the state, the Arts Council coordinates a variety of statewide programs and activities such as the annual Poetry Out Loud recitation competition for high-school aged students, traveling exhibits, artist residencies, workshops and cultural assessments. The Nevada Arts Council is funded by the State of Nevada, the National Endowment for the Arts, and other public and private sources. For more information, please visit nac.nevadaculture.org.
Photo caption information: Nevada Poetry Out Loud champion Gabrielle Hunt of Yerington recites a poem in the 2017 National Finals in Washington, D.C. Photo by James Kegley; provided by Nevada Arts Council