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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2010

Illinois Arts Council Announces Poetry Out Loud State Final
16 Regional Winners Advance from 4,500 Participants in 48 Illinois High Schools Statewide

ILLINOIS -- The Illinois Arts Council is pleased to announce Illinois’ 2009-2010 Poetry Out Loud State Final, featuring recitations by sixteen regional contest winners. The event will take place on Thursday, March 18, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. in Springfield’s Hoogland Center for the Arts. Attendance is free, open to the public, and accessible.

More than 4,500 students from 48 Illinois high schools participated in this year’s Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest, a free program created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation to encourage youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. The Illinois Arts Council implements Poetry Out Loud statewide as a collaborative project with seven regional partners.  

Poetry Out Loud State Champions receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in April to compete for the national championship. The state champion's school will also receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books, and a runner-up will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library. Additionally, a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends will be awarded to the winners at the National Finals.

For more information regarding Illinois’ regional and school Poetry Out Loud competitions, please contact the Illinois Arts Council’s partnering organization directly:

Region

Partner

Contact

Email

Telephone

Central Illinois

Springfield Area Arts Council

Penny Wollan-Kriel

pwk@springfieldartsco.org

217/753-3519

Chicagoland

Literature for All of Us

Liz McCabe

lizmccabe@northwestern.edu

847/869-7323

Eastern Illinois

40 North/88 West (Champaign)

Steven Bentz

sbentz@40north.org

217/351-9841

Northern Illinois

Rockford Area Arts Council

Sharon Nesbit-Davis

sharon@artsforeveryone.com

815/847-5382

South Central Illinois

Jacoby Arts Center (Alton)

Melissa Mustain

mmustain@frontiernet.net

618/789-4626

Southern Illinois

Carbondale Community Arts

Nancy Stemper

cca@neondsl.com

618/457-5100

Western Illinois

Quad City Arts (Rock Island)

Tracy Alan White

tracer@iowatelecom.net

563/579-7630

For more information about the Poetry Out Loud program, visit www.poetryoutloud.org.



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