Wyoming Arts Council breaks record for number of students competing in Poetry Out Loud

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 6:11 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The Wyoming Arts Council saw 13 high schools registered for Poetry Out Loud, a poetry memorizing competition. 11 students advanced to the state championship and Ray Jones, a Natrona County high school junior, made it to the national competition.

Jones didn’t advance past the semi-finals. Mary Billiter, the Wyoming Arts Council arts specialist, said this is amazing for Wyoming. “It’s a testament to Ray’s fortitude and love for poetry. Ray was in it to win it and made us Wyoming proud,” Billiter said.

Billiter added Poetry Out Loud is a great way the arts are represented in Wyoming schools. “I think we all want to have a more creative economy and a creative workforce and so arts in education helps achieve that,” Billiter said.

Billiter added that arts in Wyoming high schools help with their confidence and help them learn about themselves. “I feel like arts really plays in that part of the process of self-identification so I’m happy we have it,” Billiter said.

The Wyoming Arts Council hopes to take a Wyoming student to Washington D.C. for the national competition next year.

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