The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Poetry Out Loud District finals. Kayla Forde, a senior at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, placed first with her recitations of For the Young Who Want To by Marge Piercy, On Monsieur’s Departure by Queen Elizabeth I and Valentine by Lorna De Cervantes. Kayla will go on to compete at the Poetry Out Loud National Championship at the George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium on April 29-30, 2014.
Ayinde Grimes, a senior at St. Anselm’s Abbey School, placed second. Wysdom Holmes, a junior at Capital City Charter School, placed third.
The District finals were hosted by DCCAH on March 4 at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Nine high school students from DC public, charter and private schools competed. They represent Archbishop Carroll High School, Ballou Senior High School, Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, Capital City Public Charter School, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, McKinley Technology High School, St. Anselm’s Abbey School, The SEED School of Washington, and Washington Latin Public Charter School. The evening was hosted by Helen Hayes Award winner Erika Rose and featured performances by teaching artist Regie Cabico, and the youth of the DC Slam Poetry Team.
“Research has shown us the many benefits of arts education in our schools,” said Lavinia Wohlfarth, Acting Chair of DCCAH. “Students gaining a greater understanding of poetry and literature and learn valuable life and career skills such as public speaking and increased self-confidence.”
“Poetry Out Loud promotes the humanities and the development of our young artists,” said Lionell Thomas, Executive Director of DCCAH. “It is a wonderful opportunity to see our local talent showcased, and we are so proud of all the students participating. We are pleased to work with our national partners, the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation on this exciting program. We congratulate all the students who participated.”
About Poetry Out Loud - Poetry Out Loud, a joint program of the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation, is a national competition that seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry - recitation and performance. The program builds on the resurgence of the oral art form of poetry, as seen in the slam poetry and spoken word movements. The program invites these dynamic aspects into the classroom, where teachers engage students through classroom memorization, performances and competition. Through Poetry Out Loud, students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.
About the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities provides grants, professional opportunities, education enrichment, and other programs and services to individuals and nonprofit organizations in all communities within the District of Columbia. The Arts Commission is supported primarily by District government funds and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.