Gabrielle Hunt of Lyon County (center) is the winner of the 2017 Nevada Poetry Out Loud Recital Competition. Cache Black of Elko County (left) and Lea Gifford of Douglas County (right) were awarded second place and third place, respectively.
Nevada Arts Council’s 50th Anniversary weekend had visits from national cultural heads of states who applauded arts programming in the cities and small towns of Nevada.
But final things first.
After an awards dinner, keynotes, workshops, site visits, all which included accolades for retiring Nevada Arts Council executive director Susan Boskoff, the weekend ended with the Nevada Poetry Out Loud Recital Competition, taped live at Reno’s PBS affiliate on Saturday.
High school students from each county, and one for virtual education, picked poems from a pool provided by the NEA and the Poetry Foundation. Each took a turn in round one and two, then a panel of judges picked three finalists to recite one more poem for a third round.
Gabrielle Hunt of Lyon County was awarded first place and will represent Nevada at the National Finals in Washington DC this April.
As the Poetry Out Loud State Champion, Gabrielle earns $1,000, wins another $1,000 for her school to support literary programs, and travels with a chaperone to Washington, D.C. to compete for $50,000 in scholarships and school prizes at the National Poetry Out Loud Finals, on April 25 and 26, 2017 at the Lisner Auditorium at The George Washington University. The full slate of semi-finalists are Carson City, Emily Matuska, sophomore, Carson High School; Clark County, Gillian Lajda, sophomore, East Career and Technical Academy; Douglas County, Lea Gifford, junior Douglas High School; Elko County, Cache Black, junior, Elko High School; Humboldt County, Tanner Ames, senior, Albert Lowry High School; Lincoln County, Nathanael Frehner, senior, Lincoln County High School; Lyon County, Gabrielle Hunt, junior, Yerington High School; Nevada Virtual, Erica Jean Peterson, sophomore, Nevada Virtual Academy; Nye County, Octavio Jesus Maldonado, junior, Beatty High School; Pershing County, Christopher J. Wilbur, junior, Pershing County High School; Storey County, Pandora Arredondo, junior, Virginia City High School; Washoe County, Skye Matuzak, sophomore, Truckee Meadows Community College High School