10 RI high school students competed in the 17th Poetry Out Loud competition

Visit Poetry Out Loud RI Facebook Page to view this year’s competition.

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) announced today that 10 RI high school students participated in the Poetry Out Loud state finals on March 6 in a private ceremony at The Greenwich Odeum at 11 a.m. To view the event and learn more about Poetry Out Loud RI, visit the Poetry Out Loud RI Facebook page.

Poetry Out Loud state finalists: 

  1. Mariama Bandabaila, Classical High School, Providence.
  2. Kaleah Bodden, Providence Country Day School, East Providence.
  3. Johanny Duran, Central High School, Providence.
  4. Claire Fitzgerald, La Salle Academy, Providence.
  5. Leanne Gomes, St. Patrick Academy, Providence.
  6. Virginia Keister, Chariho Regional High School, Wood River Junction.
  7. Ailyn Mendoza, Central Falls High School, Central Falls.
  8. Kaleb Pereira, Cranston West High School, Cranston.
  9. Nazarae Phillip, East Providence High School, East Providence.
  10. Jennifer Shon, Portsmouth Abbey, Portsmouth.

At the Rhode Island State Finals, contestants will recite works they selected from an anthology of more than 900 classic and contemporary poems. Additionally, Damont “Mr. Orange” Combs, Providence, will be presenting as the guest poet.

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Damont “Mr. Orange” Combs

Under the direction of 39 teachers, some 1,901 RI high school students participated in this year’s Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. The contest, a partnership with RISCA, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation, inspires high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition.

Our community partners include POL RI Program Coordinator Martha Lavieri, Teaching Artists Kate Lohman and Combs, The Providence Athenaeum, the Rhode Island Center for the Book and RISCA.

Special thanks to the Greenwich Odeum in East Greenwich for hosting the private in-person portion of the event.

The Poetry Out Loud competition uses a pyramid structure, which begins in the classroom. Winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to the state competition, and ultimately to the national finals in Washington, D.C. (To be held virtually this year.)

Students participating in the Poetry Out Loud program have benefited from educational materials created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. These standards-based curriculum materials include an online anthology, a teacher’s guide, lesson plans, and video and audio on the art of recitation. Schools are welcome to download these free resources at www.poetryoutloud.org.  

National Endowment for the Arts  was established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America.

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative partnerships, prizes, and programs.  

Assets for Artists rolls out free winter workshops

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mm-standard-logo-rectangle-red-1024x158.jpgAssets for Artists, a program of The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), announced its free winter workshops for Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts artists. The winter business and financial workshops for 2021-22 will be online.

The workshops for Rhode Island artists are:

  • Photographing Your Artwork with Mercedes Jelinek, Nov. 9, 2-4 p.m.
  • Rethinking our Relationship with Money as Artists with Szu-Chieh Yun, Nov. 18, 6-8 p.m.
  • Taxes for Artists with Hannah Cole, Nov. 29, 2-4 p.m.
  • Business Strategies for Artists with Shey Rivera Ríos, Jan. 19 and Jan. 26, 2-4 p.m.
  • Fostering Relationships with Galleries and Museums with Kristen Becker, Feb. 1 and Feb. 8, 2-4 p.m.

Enrollment is limited. Register early by clicking here.

Arts State Council adds 11 RI teaching artists to its Teaching Artist Roster

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is creative-ground-logo.pngTo dovetail with National Arts in Education Week, Sept. 12 – 18, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) proudly announces additions to its Rhode Island Teaching Artist Roster. The Roster is a list of teaching artists and arts organizations who have been reviewed by public panels and selected based on their mastery of an artistic discipline, experience and training to work in educational settings.

The Roster is widely used as a public resource by education sites and individuals looking to engage an artist for an arts learning residency or project. The eleven additions reside in the following city or town: Bristol, Middletown, North Kingstown, North Providence, Pawtucket, Providence and Warwick.

“We are pleased to announce these eleven additions—all of whom are incredibly talented and a resource to punctuate the message that the arts are an essential part of every student’s education, particularly during a pandemic, when so much else has been changed or lost. These new teaching artists exemplify National Arts in Education Week, which celebrates the arts in education and honors arts educators.”

Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of RISCA

RISCA’s Roster is housed on the New England Foundation of the Arts’ CreativeGround website. To see the entire Roster, click here.

The new additions are:

  • Stephan Brigidi, Bristol, photography: “Through my travels I have come to observe the greater diversity of people, and my interests are in addressing our linkage in humanity. …By my image-making, I want to explore our common bonds and express my strong beliefs in the importance of this.”
  • Joy Prentice, Middletown, dance: “Movement helps move the mind. One of my guiding values is integrity through grace. To that end, I devote my creative time to inspiring students to healthy living, mental and physical flexibility and equity awareness.”
  • Cindy Wilson, North Kingstown, photography: “Discovering the unique; finding the extraordinary in the mundane; honoring the forgotten; and recording the soon to change are the fuel of my journey.”
  • Everett Hoag, North Providence, multidisciplinary theatre, fiber arts and design: “Through color, form, language, sound and movement, skilled artisans help interpret our past, understand the present, and envision our future. Our work breaks down barriers and helps us appreciate what it means to be human.”
  • Ricky Katowicz, North Providence, multidisciplinary visual arts, crafts and performance art: “While creating, I find myself to be acting in one (1) of three (3) states of being at all times: 1.) playing 2.) floating 3.) focusing. These actions can take on many different forms, such as: dancing, sound making, singing, walking, cooking or washing dishes.”
  • MacKenzie Kugel, Pawtucket, music and theatre: “My love for teaching is rooted in my commitment to community-building; this was solidified three years ago teaching in Sri Lanka at an organization facilitating healing through music. … My devised theater pedagogy prioritizes art-making that is fundamentally inclusive and grounded in cultivating community.”
  • Damont Combs, Providence, multidisciplinary poet: “I teach youth life lessons through poetry. This helps them inside the classroom and outside the classroom by building skills such as confidence, the ability to speak up, researching topics of interest, dedication, and to overcome certain fears.”
  • Ravi Shankar, Providence, interdisciplinary theatre: “As a writer of color, diversity, inclusion and cultural responsiveness are key components of my work, and I believe that everyone has a story to tell, which can be healing and revelatory.”
  • Chris Monti, Providence, music and healing arts: “My goal is to keep new music and influences coming in, to let those influences simmer in their own time and emerge in original compositions and performances, and to foster connections with audiences and students.
  • Seth McCombs, Warwick, visual arts, media arts and literature: “I work to create a vision of Rhode Island as a magical place in which all children can see themselves. I mine local history and folklore and weave imaginary elements through these stories to lift them from fact to myth.”
  • Christine Kellerman, Moonstone Art Studio, Warwick, visual arts: “Enjoying the sensory, hands-on process of art making is just as, if not more important than, a ‘perfect’ finished piece.”