by Danielle Brown
Arts Education Special Projects Coordinator Tennessee Arts Commission
Students who won their school poetry recitation competition will come to Nashville March 4, 2017, to compete for the state champion title. This year, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will host the competition in partnership with the Tennessee Arts Commission. The event, held at the CMA Theater, is free and open to the public. You do not have to buy a ticket for the museum to attend. The day begins at 10 a.m. CST and ends around 3 p.m.
“An epicenter for all things country music, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is one of our state’s greatest assets. With the seamless connection between songwriting and poetry, this partnership will greatly enhance Tennessee’s Poetry Out Loud (POL) program,” says Tennessee Arts Commission Executive Director Anne B. Pope. “We are helping instill in our young people an appreciation for poetry, as well as providing a platform to build self-confidence and master memorization, performance, and public speaking. What better place to demonstrate these skills than in the Museum’s state-of-the-art CMA Theater where many musical legends have taken the stage?”
The event will be emceed by hit songwriter Victoria Shaw and feature music by bluegrass multi-instrumentalist and fiddle champion Ivy Phillips. Ethan Castelo, Thandiwe Shiphrah, Christian J. Collier, and Claire D. Kolheim will judge the students’ poetry. Hatch Show Print printed the poster designed by students at Harpeth Hall School .
The Poetry Out Loud competition begins in the classroom. Schools host their own local contest and then send the one victor to compete on the statewide level. Tennessee’s state champion will then proceed to the national POL competition in Washington, D.C., to recite against other champions from across the country.
POL 2017 is presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in partnership with the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The program seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry, recitation, and performance building on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form.
Poetry Out Loud Awards
The state champion and his/her teacher will receive cash prizes and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete for the national championship. The first runner-up will receive a cash prize, and the school will receive a stipend for the purchase of poetry books and supplies. Second and third runners-up will also receive cash prizes. Poetry Out Loud will award a total of $50,000 in cash and school stipends at the National Finals, including a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.
Visit tnartseducation.org/events/poetry-out-loud for more information.