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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2011

Illinois Arts Council Announces Poetry Out Loud State Finals: March 11th in Springfield's Hoogland Center for the Arts
Congratulates Participants & Regional Winners from Champaign, Chicago, Deerfield, East Moline, Edwardsville, Herrin, Mt. Zion, Orion, Plainfield, Rockford, Springfield, Urbana

ILLINOIS -- The Illinois Arts Council is pleased to announce Illinois' 2010-2011 Poetry Out Loud State Finals, featuring recitations by sixteen regional contest winners from throughout the state. The event will take place on Friday, March 11, 2011, at 1:30 p.m. in Springfield's Hoogland Center for the Arts. Attendance is free, open to the public, and accessible.

More than 5,000 students from 57 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 state champion will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the national championship in April. The state champion’s school also receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books, and the runner-up receives $100, with $200 for his school library. Additionally, a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends will be awarded to the winners at the National Finals.

Regional Contest Winners Competing at State Finals

• Sophia Magro, Champaign Central High School, Champaign
• Henry Martinez, Roberto Clemente Community Academy, Chicago
• Qaswa Hussaini, Stephen Tyng Mather High School, Chicago
• Corey Shayman, Deerfield High School, Deerfield
• Amanda Wales, United Township High School, East Moline
• Ryan Harrison, Edwardsville High School, Edwardsville
• Bailey Cote, Edwardsville High School, Edwardsville
• Katie Butler, Herrin High School, Herrin
• Skylar Drummond, Herrin High School, Herrin
• Chris Grimestad, Mt. Zion High School, Mt. Zion
• Nathan Walter, Orion High School, Orion
• Rapheal Mathis, Plainfield East High School, Plainfield
• Joy Avery, Auburn Freshman Campus, Rockford
• Niambi Thompson, Roosevelt High School, Rockford
• Morgan Williams, Springfield High School, Springfield
• Kahlilah Cooke, University Laboratory High School, Urbana

Judges Panel

• Claudette Roper, Chicago: Media artist; public relations and marketing professional
• Dan Guillory, Findlay: Professor Emeritus, Millikin University; Poet, Literary non-fiction; Fiscal Year 1989 IAC Fellowship recipient.      
• Kerry Miller, Godfrey: Performing Artist; Chair-Madison County Board of Review
• Kirstin Hotelling Zona, Normal: Asst. Prof. of English at Illinois State University; Editor, The Spoon River Poetry Review; Co-Host, Poetry Radio, WGLT 98.1

Regional Partners

The Illinois Arts Council implements Poetry Out Loud statewide in collaboration with seven regional partners. For more information regarding Illinois' regional and school Poetry Out Loud competitions, please contact the partnering organization directly:

• Central Illinois: Springfield Area Arts Council, Penny Wollan-Kriel, email: pwk@springfieldartsco.org, phone: 217/753-3519
• Chicagoland: Literature for All of Us, Liz McCabe, email: lizmccabe@northwestern.edu, phone: 847/869-7323
• Eastern Illinois: 40 North/88 West (Champaign), Kelly White, email: kwhite@40north.org, phone: 217/351-9841
• Northern Illinois: Rockford Area Arts Council, Sharon Nesbit-Davis, email: sharon@artsforeveryone.com, phone: 815/847-5382
• South Central Illinois: Jacoby Arts Center (Alton), Melissa Mustain, email: mmustain@frontiernet.net, phone: 618/789-4626
• Southern Illinois, Carbondale Community Arts, Nancy Stemper, email: cca@neondsl.com, phone: 618/457-5100
• Western Illinois, Quad City Arts (Rock Island), Tracy Alan White, email: tracer@iowatelecom.net, phone: 563/579-7630

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation is also honored to provide travel support for regional and state finalists of Poetry Out Loud in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Learn more about the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest at www.poetryoutloud.org.



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