Area youth invited to participate in Youth Poetry Slam competition

Edmonds Center for the Arts invites Puget Sound-are young people, ages 13-21, to enter the first-ever WE SPEAK Youth Poetry Slam Competition. Youth are asked to submit video samples of spoken-word performance responding to the theme: The Year 2020. The deadline to submit is Nov. 4.
Submissions will be reviewed by the WE SPEAK Jury Panel, comprised of local artists, community leaders and youth. Three finalists will be selected to perform their work live from the ECA stage during the virtual WE SPEAK Festival on Thursday, Dec. 3. 
The WE SPEAK Festival is a virtual, evening-length celebration of spoken word poetry and storytelling, integrating critically-acclaimed artists Jericho Brown, Andrea Gibson, Kealoha, Shane Koyczan, and Robin Sanders, alongside talented local youth, WE SPEAK seeks to embody the complex themes and concerns of the year 2020.  
Through performance, artists are invited to respond to issues including (but not limited to) the global health crisis, Black Lives Matter and the racial justice movement, and experiences of disability, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ communities. 
How to enter:
  • Youth participants must be between the ages of 3 and 21, as of Dec. 3, 2020 
  • Submit a five minutes or less video recording of one or two original’s poems to 
  • If you are a finalist, your spoken word performance will need to be recited from memory 
  • You may use costumes, props, music, and visual aids to share your spoken word performance – but keep in mind, if you are a finalist, the performance elements in your video clip need to match the final performance 
  • Relevance to festival theme: The Year 2020 
  • Creativity and originality 
  • Coherence of form and structure 
  • Clarity of imagery and language 
As part of ECA’s Education & Outreach programming, the three student finalists will receive a 30-minute virtual mentorship session with Hawaiian slam poet Kealoha in the week prior to the festival. 
(Note: The ECA also issues a warning that student and professional artist submissions to the WE SPEAK Festival may contain adult or explicit language.) 
Learn more about the WE SPEAK Festival here. Buy “Pay What You Choose” tickets to the festival here. 

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