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March 6, 2014

Illinois Arts Council Agency Announces Poetry Out Loud State Final
16 Regional Winners Advance from 6,800 Participants in 62 Illinois High Schools Statewide

ILLINOIS -- The Illinois Arts Council Agency is pleased to announce Illinois’ 2013-2014 Poetry Out Loud State Final, featuring recitations by sixteen regional contest winners. The event will take place on Friday, March 14, 2014, beginning at 1:00 p.m. in Springfield’s Hoogland Center for the Arts. Attendance is free, open to the public, and accessible.

Six thousand eight hundred ten students from 62 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 Illinois Arts Council Agency implements Poetry Out Loud statewide as a collaborative project with seven regional not-for-profit partners.

The Illinois Poetry Out Loud State Champion will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in April, to compete for the national championship. The state champion's school will also receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The state’s Poetry Out Loud runner-up will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library. At the National Poetry Out Loud Finals in Washington, DC, fifty-three Poetry Out Loud champions from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands will compete for a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends.

The sixteen regional finalists competing in the Illinois Poetry Out Loud State Final on March 14, 2014 in Springfield are:

Central Illinois
Annabelle Emuze
Southeast High School (Springfield)
Central Illinois
Annie Kefalas
St. Teresa High School (Decatur)
Chicagoland - City
Grace Anderson
University of Chicago Lab School (Chicago)
Chicagoland - City
Daisy Ochoa
Taft High School (Chicago)
Chicagoland - Suburbs
Monica Labelle
Wheaton-Warrenville South High School (Wheaton)
Chicagoland - Suburbs
Abigail Warhus
Evanston Township High School (Evanston)
Eastern Illinois
Cedric D.B. Jones
Champaign Central High School (Champaign)
Eastern Illinois
Jonlyn Miller
Champaign Central High School (Champaign)
Northern Illinois
Whydler Moore
Jefferson High School (Rockford)
Northern Illinois
Asia Ward
Auburn High School (Rockford)
South Central Illinois
Taylor Robinson
Edwardsville High School (Edwardsville)
South Central Illinois
Elixxa Warner
Alton High School (Alton)
Southern Illinois
Ally Payne
Clay City High School (Clay City)
Southern Illinois
Kristin Doty
Agape Christian School (Marion)
Western Illinois
Marley DeVoss
Orion High School (Orion))
Western Illinois
Shelby Hoffman
Orion High School (Orion)

For an in-depth look at the national Poetry Out Loud program, visit www.poetryoutloud.org.

For information regarding Illinois’ regional and school Poetry Out Loud competitions in your local area, contact the Illinois Arts Council Agency’s partnering organization that services your geographic area.

Not-for-Profit Partner
Contact Person
Contact Information
Central Illinois
Springfield Area Arts Council
Sheila Walk
Literature for All of Us
Liz McCabe
Eastern Illinois
40 North/88 West
Amanda Baker
Northern Illinois
Rockford Area Arts Council
Sharon Nesbit-Davis
South Central Illinois
Jacoby Arts Center
Eric Stauffer
Southern Illinois
Carbondale Community Arts
Nancy Stemper
Western Illinois
Quad City Arts
Tracy Alan White


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