Saint Louis, Missouri — UrbArts will send its top four youth poets to Washington, D.C. to compete in the Brave New Voices International Slam Festival in July 2016. University of Missouri student Erielle Jones, Kirkwood High student Aly, and Grand Center Arts Academy students Majovah and Biddy are current preparing poems for the 4 day festival in hopes of winning the championship. UrbArts’s youth-poetry slam team, VerbQuake, opened its 5th season on Martin Luther King day. This opening event began was followed by a series of slams occurring at schools starting the 1st week of February and ending the last week of March featuring multiple teams.
These poetry slam team bouts featured and were located at Kirkwood High School, Central Visual and Performing Arts, Hazelwood West, Metro Academic and Classical High School, and Grand Center Art Academy. Other partnering high schools include Jennings High and Carnahan High School of the Future.
Participating teams were eligible for the VerbQuake tournament in Old North Saint Louis during poetry month. Grand Center Arts Academy won the team Grand Slam. Anna, a junior at Kirkwood High won the individual slam championship. The final day of competition determined the top four students who would represent St. Louis at Brave New Voices.
Previous winners of the VerbQuake Grand Slam include: Gateway STEM in 2012 and 2013; Kirkwood in 2014 and 2015. Individual champions included Marcus Mucherson from Carnahan High School of the Future in 2013; Rebecca Johnson from Hazelwood West in 2014; and Erielle Jones from Hazelwood West in 2015.
UrbArts is a nonprofit organization that promotes the arts, education, economics, and social services. We exist to create platforms and platform creatives for the development of the youth and the betterment of the community. For more information, please see UrbArts.org. This program is funded in part by the Missouri Arts Council, SLOUP, and Second Tuesdays.