POETRY OUT LOUD STATE CONTEST CANCELED IN RESPONSE TO GOVERNOR DIRECTIVE
News Release from Oregon Arts Commission
Posted on FlashAlert: March 12th, 2020 9:49 AM
Salem, Oregon – Due to Governor Kate Brown’s directive to cancel all non-essential school associated group activities to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Oregon Arts Commission is canceling the Poetry Out Loud State Contest scheduled for Friday, March 13, in Salem.
“Our highest priority is the health and safety of our students and their families,” said Deb Vaughn, the Arts Commission’s arts education/Poetry Out Loud coordinator.
Governor Brown issued a news release late on Wednesday directing that all non-essential school-associated gatherings and group activities — such as group parent meetings, field trips, and competitions, be canceled.
The nine state contestants, their families, and teachers were notified of the cancellation this morning. The possibility of rescheduling is dependent on direction from the Governor’s Office and the National Endowment for the Arts.
“While we are disappointed not to see their presentations, the students who put their energy into this program each have three poems learned by heart, and that is something they can always be proud of,” said Vaughn.
Each of the students will be sent a copy of Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford’s book “Reunion of the Rare,” which was to have been presented at the event, to continue to encourage their exploration of poetry.
Poetry Out Loud is a national contest for high school students, organized in Oregon by the Oregon Arts Commission in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.
Regional Poetry Out Loud competitions held in Medford and Salem on Saturday identified the nine Oregon high school students who are invited to compete for the 2020 state title on Friday, March 13. The contests also identified two alternates should any student be unable to attend the state contest.
Poetry Out Loud is a national contest for high school students, organized in Oregon by the Oregon Arts Commission in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Participants memorize and present poems, practicing public performance skills while exploring the complexity of poetry. Winners of school competitions advance to regional contests for an opportunity to compete at the state contest; the state champion is invited to advance to the national competition.
The state contestants from the Medford Regional Contest (listed with their schools and hometowns) are Hannah Oberman from Oakland High School, Oakland; Poppy Hendrickson from Cascade Christian High School, Medford; Tabarjah Neal from Oregon Connections Academy, Klamath Falls; and alternate Clara Bennett, Crater High School, Central Point.
State contestants selected at the Salem Regional Contest are Christina Brennan, K12 International Academy, Happy Valley; Olyvia Oeverman. St. Stephen’s Academy, Tigard; Faith Palma, Veritas School, Dundee; Gabriella Shirtcliff, Summit High School, Bend; Sevyn South, Village Home, Portland; Alejandra Ortega, Sandy High School, Sandy; and alternate Jamila Walker, Oregon School for the Deaf, Salem.
“After 15 years of Poetry Out Loud in Oregon, we continue to see an impressive caliber of performances from students. We are thrilled to welcome these nine outstanding presenters to the state event,” said Deb Vaughn, the Arts Commission’s arts education/Poetry Out Loud coordinator.
The State Contest is scheduled from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in Salem’s Allied Video Productions Studio (2121 Front St NE); the event will be sign interpreted. The winner will be invited to advance to the national Poetry Out Loud competition, scheduled for April 27-29 in Washington, D.C.