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Six SC students participating in National YoungArts Week in Miami

This week 166 of the nation's most promising young artists in the literary, visual, design and performing arts will converge in Miami, Fla., for the 36th Annual National YoungArts Week. These students were chosen as finalists in the YoungArts Competition held in the fall. South Carolina had six finalists from four high schools. Julia Dotson, from the Charleston County School of the Arts, is a finalist in the Design Arts category. Amber Magnuson, from the Fine Arts Center in Greenville, is a finalist in the Poetry category. Jessica McCallum, from D.W. Daniel High School, is a finalist in the Cinematic Arts category. Samuel Gee and Jamiya Leach are finalists in the Creative Non-Fiction category and are students at the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH), and Cam'Ron Stewart, also from the Governor's School, is a finalist in the Spoken Theater category. During National YoungArts Week, students take master classes and workshops from internationally recognized professionals and compete for higher honors, while enhancing their artistic development. In total, South Carolina had 13 winners, including the six finalists. While only the finalists participate in YoungArts Week, all competition winners become part of a professional network of over 20,000 alumni artists and are eligible to participate in YoungArts' regional programs as well as nominations as a U.S. Presidential Scholar of the Arts. Additional South Carolina winners are Governor's School students Joshua Simpson (Spoken Theater), James Stevens (Baritone), Helen Coats (Creative Non-Fiction), Alyssa Mazzoli (Short Story), and Aidan Forster (Short Story); Richland Two Charter High School student Kierra Gray (Singer/Songwriter); and Clover High School student Derrick Ostolaza (Cinematic Arts). "The YoungArts Competition is one of the most competitive opportunities in the nation for students exhibiting artistic excellence, with over 8,000 submissions from 42 states," said Dr. Cedric Adderley, SCGSAH president. "We're very proud that eight of the winners came from the Governor's School, as this is an esteemed accomplishment for our students, our schools and our state." Image: The Upstate's five YoungArts Competition finalists at the Atlanta airport on their way to Miami. Pictured left to right: Samuel Gee, Jessica  McCallum, Amber Magnusum, Jamiya Leach, and Cam'Ron Stewart. Via: Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities

Charleston student repeats as Poetry Out Loud champion

Nicole Sadek, a senior at Charleston County School of the Arts, has been crowned the 2016 South Carolina Poetry Out Loud state champion, recapturing the title she first won in 2014. Sadek now advances to the national finals May 2-4 in Washington, D.C., where she competes for a $20,000 scholarship. Sadek is the first student to win two state titles in the history of the South Carolina program. Sadek was one of nine regional finalists who competed at the Columbia Museum of Art during the state finals on March 12. Each recited two poems they had memorized and perfected during school-wide and regional competitions that took place throughout the state from October to January, when more than 4,000 students began the competition. Three students were named state finalists and recited a third poem to determine the winner. As the state champion, Sadek receives $200 and an all-expense paid trip to compete in the national finals. The Charleston County School of the Arts library also receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. Competition judges were Dr. Dianne "Dinah" Johnson, author and professor of English at the University of South Carolina; author and Poet Laureate for the city of Columbia Ed Madden, associate professor of English at USC; Darion McCloud, founder and creative director of the NiA Theatre Company and Story Squad; and Theresa (T.J.) Wallace, assistant director at South Carolina Humanities. The South Carolina Arts Commission works with several partners to produce Poetry Out Loud. Statewide partners are the Columbia Museum of Art and the "Speaking of Schools" radio program, hosted by Doug Keel and supported by the South Carolina Department of Education. Regional partners are Hub City Writers Project (Region 1); Bravo Blythewood Cultural Arts Council and the South Carolina Center for Oral Narrative at the University of South Carolina Sumter (Region 2); and the College of Charleston School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts and the South Carolina Poetry Society (Region 3). Poetry Out Loud, a program created in 2005 by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through exploration, memorization and recitation. Students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage while gaining an appreciation of poetry. Last year more than 365,000 students nationwide competed.

S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts student awarded national writing prize

Lowcountry student artists, writers claim 24 Scholastic awards From the Charleston Post and Courier Article by Adam Parker
The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is a 92-year-old institution that recognizes talented young artists and writers. One of the top winners this year was Charleston native Grant McClure. In 2014, the competition received around 300,000 entries from students, including hundreds from South Carolina teens. About 1,900 across the U.S. were selected as national-level winners, according to Scholastic’s Brittany Sullivan. And 16 high school seniors were awarded the Portfolio Gold Medal (eight for writing, eight for visual art), which is accompanied by a $10,000 cash scholarship. Grant McClureMcClure, a senior at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts in Greenville, was one of the 16. He won in the writing category. He hopes to spend his $10,000 at Wofford College, a private school in Spartanburg with a reputable creative writing program. Or maybe he’ll attend Clemson, he said. He will likely major in environmental studies and minor in writing. McClure attended Charleston Charter School for Math and Science for his first two years of high school and played varsity basketball there. His father, Arnie McClure, is a local architect; his mother, Mitzi, is a registered nurse. Growing up near Colonial Lake, McClure took note of Charleston’s beauty, culture and contradictions, he said. His interest in peeling back the veil to explore the nuances and conflict beneath the surface informs his writing. He has written short fiction, poetry, personal essays, mysteries and more, he said. Currently he’s working on a novella, focusing on character development. Of 44 national winners from South Carolina, 24 are from the Charleston metropolitan area, and 19 of those are Gold and Silver medal winners at Charleston County School of the Arts. Local Gold Medal winners include: Zoe Abedon (SOA, 12th grade); Arden Dodge (SOA, 8th grade); Kathryn Dorn (SOA, 7th grade); Maclean Hueske (SOA, 8th grade); Jessica Leiker (SOA, 9th grade); Julia Lynn (SOA, 11th grade); Carson Peaden (SOA, 9th grade, Best in Grade award for poetry); and Courtney Wickstrom (SOA, 9th grade, Best in Grade award for poetry). Wando High School senior Henry Ballou won a Silver Medal with Distinction for his art portfolio. Silver medals were awarded to 13 others at Goose Creek High School, Ashley Hall and SOA.

Poetry Out Loud journey inspires Charleston County student

Poetry Out Loud state champion Katherine Murchison reflects on her experience and competing at the national contest.

On March 16, the South Carolina Arts Commission announced that I was the South Carolina state champion for the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. The next month, I advanced to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals, which took place from April 29-30 in Washington, D.C., to compete with 53 other representatives for a chance to win a $20,000 scholarship. Nation-wide, more than 4,000 students began the competition, and 53 remained. I competed with nine regional finalists at the Columbia Museum of Art for my position. We all recited two poems we had memorized for months through school-wide and regional contests. Three students, including myself, were named state finalists and recited a third poem in order to determine the winner. Here, Justin Fox, a Spartanburg High School senior, was named state runner-up and Kynnedi McManus, a Strom Thurmond High School senior from Edgefield County came in third. As the state champion, I received $200 and an all-expenses paid trip for me and a chaperone to compete in the national finals. The Charleston County School of the Arts, the high school I attend, received a $500 stipend to purchase poetry books. More importantly however, throughout this entire process I have been exposed to a multitude of poets and passionate literary students just like me.
Read the rest of Katherine's report. Via: Moultrie News

Charleston student named state Poetry Out Loud champion

Congratulations to Katherine Murchison, a junior at Charleston County School of the Arts, who was named South Carolina champion for the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest on March 16. Murchison now advances to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals to represent South Carolina and take her shot at a $20,000 scholarship. The national finals take place April 29-30 in Washington, D.C. As the state champion, Murchison receives $200 and an all-expense paid trip to compete in the national finals. The Charleston County School of the Arts library also receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. Murchison was one of nine regional finalists who competed at the Columbia Museum of Art during state finals. Each recited two poems they had memorized and perfected during school-wide and regional competitions that took place throughout the state from October to January, when more than 4,000 students began the competition. Justin Fox, (pictured below right) a senior at Spartanburg High School, was named state runner-up. He receives $100, and his school library receives a $200 poetry book stipend. Katherine Murchison and Justin Fox     Read more about the Poetry Out Loud state finals.