Activist state

Two Central Oregon Students Among 11 Qualify for Poetry Out Loud State Contest

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) — Two central Oregon high schoolers, Cecily Cooper of Crook County HS and Mariah Reynolds of Redmond HS, are among 11 students from across the state who have won their Poetry Out Loud contests. school and will compete for the state championship at the 2022 Oregon Virtual Poetry Out Loud State Contest on Friday, March 11 at 5 p.m.

The competition will be broadcast live on the Oregon Arts Commissionit’s Facebook page and Youtube channel.

The host of the 2022 Oregon State Contest will be Joaquin Lopez, a performing artist, musician, and mental health counselor whose work is grounded in personal transformation, self-expression, and Latino Queer identity. Lopez is currently a creative co-winner from Portland.

The students competing for the state championship are: Clara Bennett, Crater High School, Medford; Cecily Cooper, Crook County High School, Prineville; Maria Daniels, St. Stephen’s Academy, Beaverton; Trayshun Holmes-Gournaris, Oregon School for the Deaf, Salem; Juwon Kim, Lakeridge High School, Lake Oswego; Alyssia Menezes, Lincoln High School, Portland; Elena Morris, Oregon Charter Academy, Mill City; Ava Neudeck, West Linn High School, West Linn; Mariah Reynolds, Redmond High School, Redmond; Auria Vallloton, Oakland High School, Oakland; and Willa Wise, Grant High School, Portland.

Cecily Cooper is a student at Crook County High School. She enjoys playing tennis, playing the piano and volunteering in elementary schools. Cecily loves dogs and has her own dog training business. She plans to study business and nutrition at university.

Mariah Reynolds says: “Throughout my school years, I have always tried my best to get full marks on the things I do. I do my best and normally I succeed. I have a passion for animals. Since I was 5 years old, I have always wanted to become a veterinarian. I like acting, kayaking, playing the flute and watching the waves at the beach. As I get older, I want to be able to follow the phrase ‘you can do anything you put your mind to.'”

Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation competition for high school students, held in Oregon by the Oregon Arts Commission in conjunction with the NEA and the Poetry Foundation. Participants memorize and present poems, practice public speaking while exploring the complexity of poetry.

The 2022 Poetry Out Loud State Competition is once again taking place virtually to ensure the safety and health of participating students and staff. The decision was based on advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the general counsel of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The state pageant judges are Subashini Ganesanartist, arts administrator and former Creative Laureate of Portland; Jonathan Hillcartoonist, illustrator and educator; Andre Middletonthe founder and executive director of Friends of Noise; Juan Antonio Trujillo, a recently retired Oregon State University professor and co-host of the Tag! Queer Short Film Festival; and Vicky Falcon Vazquezpoet, activist and educator who works at the intersection of social, cultural and gender issues.

The unscored responding judges, who will provide written feedback to students on their performance, are Amy Botula, lawyer, writer, and teacher; Jillian Frakes, middle school language arts teacher and Oregon’s 2012 Poetry Out Loud State Champion; and Tony Fuemmeler, a theater artist exploring transformation, expression and articulation through masks and puppets.

Student performance will be judged on physical attendance; voice and articulation; dramatic relevance; proof of understanding; overall performance and accuracy.

The scores will determine the state champion and a runner-up. The champion will be invited to participate in the National Poetry Aloud Semi-Finals on May 1; the top nine students will advance to the national final on June 5.

The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding, and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives, and services. Nine Commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine artistic needs and establish policies for public support of the arts. The Arts Commission became part of Business Oregon (formerly Oregon Department of Economic and Community Development) in 1993, in recognition of the growing role the arts play in the broader social, economic, and educational spheres of communities across Oregon. ‘Oregon.

In 2003, the Oregon Legislature transferred operations of the Oregon Cultural Trust to the Arts Commission, streamlining operations and utilizing the Commission’s expertise in grantmaking, arts and cultural information and community cultural development.

The Arts Commission is supported by general funds appropriated by the Oregon Legislature and by federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust. More information about the Oregon Arts Commission is available online at: