Monday, January 12, 2015

2014-2015 South Carolina State Poetry Out Loud Midlands Finals Competition to be Held in Blythewood on February 24, 2015


Blythewood’s Community-Based Cultural Arts Organization
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2014-2015 South Carolina State Poetry Out Loud Midlands Finals Competition
to be Held in Blythewood on February 24, 2015

The Blythewood-based Region 2 (SC Midlands Regional) Poetry Out Loud competition will be held on Saturday, January 24 at Blythewood’s Doko Manor Convention Center.  Nine students representing five South Carolina midlands counties will be competing to represent Region 2 in the South Carolina State Finals.  Three of the participating students will be selected as finalists and will represent Region 2 (Midlands Region) in the South Carolina Poetry Out Loud final competition on March 15, 2014 at the Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, South Carolina.  The Blythewood–based Region 2 Poetry Out Loud competition is sponsored by Bravo Blythewood, Blythewood’s community-based cultural arts organization, in partnership with the University of South Carolina Division of Arts and Letters.  The public, family and friends of the contestants are cordially invited to attend the Region 2 final competition at Blythewood’s Doko Manor Convention Center.  The competition will start at 2:00pm and should conclude by 4:00pm.  There will be a public reception following the competition.  Classical music, performed by students from Columbia’s Freeway Music Studio will be played prior to the event, as well as during the intermissions between the rounds of the poetry competition as well as doing the post event reception.


Region 2 includes the following counties: Edgefield, Saluda, Newberry, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lee, Darlington, Marlboro, Aiken, Lexington, Richland, Sumter, Florence, Marion, Dillon, Calhoun.
The three finalists from South Carolina’s three regions (Lowcountry, Midlands and Upstate) will advance to the South Carolina state finals in Columbia at the Columbia Museum of Art on March 14, 2015. The state champion will receive $200, a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books for their school library, and an all-expense paid trip to national finals.   A runner up will also receive $100 and their library will receive a $200 poetry book stipend.  Winners from the individual state level competitions will advance to the national finals on April 29-30, 2015 in Washington, D.C.  
Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation contest created in 2005 by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage while gaining an appreciation of poetry. Last year more than 200,000 students in all U.S. states and the U.S. Virgin Islands competed. The winner received a $20,000 scholarship.
The Poetry Out Loud State Finals are sponsored by the South Carolina Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation.  The partners include the Hub City Writers Project, HUB-BUB, the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts, the College of Charleston School for Humanities and Social Sciences, Bravo Blythewood, Blythewood’s community-based cultural arts organization, the University of South Carolina Division of Arts and Letters, the Columbia Museum of Art, The Humanities Council SC, and Speaking of Schools hosted by Doug Keel, supported by the South Carolina Department of Education. 

§  Contacts and additional Information:  Booth Chilcutt, Jr., Board of Directors-Bravo Blythewood at (803) 468-2389 or chilcuttb@townofblythewoodsc.gov. , Dr. Ray McManus, Associate Professor of English, USC Sumter at  (803) 938-3817 or raymcmanus@sc.rr.com

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