Indiana Area High School Senior Poetry Out Loud Winner, One of Top Five in State

Posted on 4/11/2012 10:16:21 AM
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Indiana Area High School senior Daniela Alarcón was named winner of the ArtsPath regional final for the Poetry Out Loud contest held at IUP on Monday, March 5, 2012. Alarcón went on to the state competition where she placed in the top five for Pennsylvania.

The state competition was held at the Governor’s Mansion in Harrisburg on Monday, March 26, and was hosted by Gov. and Mrs. Tom Corbett.

At the ArtsPath regional level, Alarcón was one of three area students to compete in the poetry recitation regional final. She won reciting “The Poet at Seventeen,” by Larry Levis; “A Country Boy in Winter,” by Sarah Orne Jewett, and “Bilingual/Bilingüe,” by Rhina P. Espaillat. The other two regional contestants were first runner up Jamie Houston, a freshman at Dubois Area High School, and second runner up David “DJ” Gress, a junior at the Kiski School in Saltsburg (pictured below with ArtsPath associate director, Jeff Wacker).

Alarcón was presented with a plaque by Senator Don White at the high school on March 20 (pictured above).

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She participates in a variety of school activities including the theater program, is treasurer for the senior class and the school's drama club, is a member of A Cappella Choir and Madrigal Singers, and is a member of the marching band drum-line. In addition to the arts, she is interested in mathematics and sciences and plans to attend a university in the Fall in preparation for a career in medicine. She is a student of Gretchen Barbor and the daughter of Katherine Koons and Francisco Alarcón.

At the state level, judges for the competition included Robin Becker, a liberal arts research professor of English and Women’s Studies at the Pennsylvania Sate University; Dr. Carolyn Dumaresq, Deputy Secretary for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education in the Pennsylvania Department of Education; Dan Martin, Interim Dean of Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Fine Arts and a professor in the School of Drama; Marilyn Santerelli, executive director of the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes Barre; and Kelly Summerford, a Harrisburg City Council member.

Presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn about significant works of poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Pennsylvania’s contest structure is presented each year by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and organized through a network of arts-in-education partners across the state, including ArtsPath. The 2012 national finals will be held at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., on May 13-15.

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The local competition is organized by ArtsPath, a program of the College of Fine Arts and the Lively Arts at IUP, providing arts-in-education services to students in Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana, and Jefferson counties. It has provided these services to over 3,000 people each year since 2001. ArtsPath is led by Jeff Wacker, associate director of arts-in-education for the Lively Arts.

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts is a state agency under the Governor’s Office. Its mission is to foster the excellence, diversity, and vitality of the arts in Pennsylvania and to broaden the availability and appreciation of those arts throughout the state.