For Immediate Release                                                   
The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa
Contact: Sharron Rudowski
(205) 345-9801



(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) The regional finals for Poetry Out Loud, a national recitation competition, took place on Nov. 19, 2019 at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center. Prior to this final round in Tuscaloosa, the West-Central Alabama students from District 3 participated in a primary competition at their respective high schools.

Poetry Out Loud is a competition that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. After successful pilot programs in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, POL was launched in high schools nationwide in the spring of 2006 with tens of thousands of students participating. POL has grown every year with over 365,000 students competing.

Students competing in the District 3 POL program were eligible to compete in the national/anthology portion of the program, the original poetry portion or both. Traveling to Montgomery, Ala. in 2020, the winners in both the recitation and original poetry portions will compete in the state-wide competition. Only one student per school is allowed to advance to the state level in the national/anthology category. Winners in the state level national/anthology portion will then have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. for a final round.

The Alabama State Council on the Arts sponsored the original poetry competition and administrates Poetry Out Loud on the state level. Sponsors include the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation and The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa. Sharron Rudowski, Arts Council Education Director, served as Facilitator in District 3.

National/Anthology Winners:
1st Place          Elizabeth McClure, Alabama School of Fine Arts  
2nd Place        Andrea Barber, Tuscaloosa County High School    
3rd Place        Deven Patel, Indian Springs School

Original Winners:

1st Place          Fiona Harris, Tuscaloosa County High School       
2nd Place        Lilly Geisen, Indian Springs School            
3rd Place        Elizabeth McClure, Alabama School of Fine Arts  
4th Place        Helena Lewellyn, Tuscaloosa County High School            
5th Place         Myra Gizzard, Alabama School of Fine Arts          

Judges for the day were Drew Baker, Artistic Coordinator for Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre, and Richard Wallace, theatre teacher at Shelton State Community College. Martie Sample served as Accuracy Judge, Kevin Ledgewood was Prompter and Sheriah Gibson was Scorekeeper.

The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is located at 620 Greensboro Avenue in downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information about The Arts Council, Bama Theatre or CAC, patrons should like the Facebook page “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram @tuscaloosaartscouncil. Call 205-758-5195 or visit tuscarts.org for further information.