Poetry Out Loud students head to regional competition | NevadaAppeal.com

Poetry Out Loud students head to regional competition

Guy Clifton
Travel Nevada
Gabrielle Hunt of Yerington recites a poem at the 2017 Nevada State Finals. Hunt won the competition and represented Nevada at the Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, D.C. Guy Clifton/Travel Nevada
Guy Clifton/Travel Nevada |

Nevada’s Poetry Out Loud competition, which started in the fall with nearly 3,600 high school students participating, is winnowing down to semifinal rounds this month in advance of the state finals on March 3 in Reno.

District champions representing Douglas, Clark, Elko, Storey, Lyon, Pershing and Washoe counties will be determined during semifinal competitions this month. Carson City held its district event in November.

Each district will send a champion to the Nevada State Finals, which will be held at KNPB with the state champion advancing to represent Nevada at the Poetry Out Loud National Finals April 23-25 in Washington, D.C.

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.”

Those interested in seeing a school competition and supporting McQueen High School can attend the school’s event on Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. at Grace Church, 1220 Robb Drive., Reno. Admission is $5.

Upcoming regional competitions include:

Clark County: Feb. 6, 3:30 p.m., West Charleston Library Theater

Elko County: Feb. 6, 6 p.m., Western Folklife Center

Storey County: Feb. 7, 1:45 p.m., Virginia City High School Library

Lyon County: Feb. 12, 4 p.m., Jeanne Dini Cultural Center

Pershing County: Feb. 12, 3:30 p.m., Pershing County High School Auditorium

Washoe County: Feb. 15, 6 p.m., Nevada Museum of Art

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.

Poetry Out Loud is a program of the Nevada Arts Council, presented in partnership with National Endowment for the Arts. For information on the state finals, contact Maryjane Dorofachuk at 702-486-3738, or visit http://www.facebook.com/NevadaPoetryOutLoud.

The Nevada Arts Council, a division of the Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, is charged with ensuring 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, traveling exhibits, artist residencies, workshops and cultural assessments.