LEWISTON — L/A Arts announces the inaugural Maine Writes poetry slam awards ceremony and celebration at Lewiston Middle School from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, March 1. The event is open only to invited family and friends of students.

Students from three classes in as many of the Lewiston public schools who participated in Maine Writes will come together to hear guest artists, perform their own poetry and receive awards. Students from Farwell and Montello Elementary schools and Lewiston Middle School participated in an L/A Arts residency in their classes and competed in early February in a poetry slam against students from the Bronx, New York City, live via videoconferencing.

This is the culminating celebration for the Lewiston students, who have been analyzing and learning about poetic forms and devices applied through writing and performance. This has taken place during a 15-week residency with a guest teaching artist from L/A Arts, professional artists and educators in their field, who have collaborated and team taught with a classroom teacher.

All of the students wrote original poems based on themes inspired by the poetic artwork they have studied and topics from their lives and community that have importance to them. Many of the participating students will share their pieces at the ceremony and all will receive a special commendation for their work.

L/A Arts worked with two outstanding partners from New York City on this project, Arts in Education and technology organizations the Dreamyard Project and Global Writes. The Dreamyard Project is a nonprofit Arts in Education organization in the Bronx, which since 1994 has served more than 125,000 students in 100 public schools with arts programs. Global Writes’ mission is to promote literacy, communication and collaboration among young people through the integration of performing arts and technology resources. The co-founders of the organization, John Ellrodt and Maria Fico, will be traveling to Lewiston to personally present awards to students at the ceremony.


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