Arkansas Arts Council Announces Poetry Workshops 

The Arkansas Arts Council is pleased to announce poetry workshops to prepare high school students for the Arkansas Poetry Out Loud competition happening this March.

The virtual poetry workshop series will help poetry lovers and students gain deeper insight and understanding of poetry and performance. The workshops will cover the basics of writing poetry and will emphasize the art of recitation. Workshops include Evidence of Understanding, Voice and Articulation and Dramatic Appropriateness.

Attendees should bring pencil, paper and two poems from Poetry Out Loud. Poems are available at https://www.poetryoutloud.org. Participants may also bring their original poetry.

The workshops are free and will be held via Zoom starting at 11 a.m. Dec. 19. The password and link are available by emailing Drekkia.Morning@Arkansas.gov.

Workshop instructors are: 

Crystal C. Mercer, of Little Rock, is an all-around Afro-creative. Mercer is a textile artist, actor, activist, poet, playwright and author. She is founder and creative director of Columbus Creative Arts + Activism and is lead designer and merchant of Mercer Textile Mercantile. She fuses arts and activism by using theatre, poetry and textiles to tell social justice narratives through merchandising artifacts of the culture and storytelling with an emphasis of uplifting voices of color and making marginalized populations visible.

Stacey McAdoo, of Little Rock, is a published author and poet. She was named the Arkansas Teacher of the Year in 2019. She has been a teacher for more than 20 years. McAdoo is the founder of the Writeous Poets, a group of youth poets who travel and perform poetry.

Timothy “TJ” Medel is a No. 1, world-ranking spoken-word poet and is a teaching artist. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Medel has been featured on national television from FOX to CNN.

The workshop series is for high school students and is part of the Arkansas Poetry Out Loud program, but everyone is welcome. For more information about Poetry Out Loud, visit www.arkansasarts.org. For questions about the program or workshops, contact Drekkia Morning, Arts in Education Program manager, at Drekkia.Morning@Arkansas.gov.

About the Arkansas Arts Council  

The Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of Arkansas Heritage, advances the arts in Arkansas by providing services and supporting arts endeavors that encourage and assist literary, performing and visual artists in achieving standards of professional excellence. In addition, the Arkansas Arts Council provides technical and financial assistance to Arkansas arts organizations and other providers of cultural and educational programs. Other agencies are the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Arkansas State Archives, Delta Cultural Center in Helena, Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and the Old State House Museum. Funding for the Arkansas Arts Council and its programs is provided by the State of Arkansas and the National Endowment for the Arts. Arkansas Heritage is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.