Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County announces launch of Area Youth Poet Laureate Program

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Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County announces

launch of Area Youth Poet Laureate Program

Emerging poets of Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto and Charlotte Counties,

ages 13 to 19, encouraged to apply by September 30, 2022.

(May 17, 2022) The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County and partnering sponsor, Bookstore1Sarasota, will follow the lead of the nation in acknowledging a student who has achieved excellence in poetry, allowing them to be a leader for their community in raising the profile of poetry and developing its audience.

“The Sarasota Youth Poet Laureate program aims to identify young writers and leaders who are committed to civic and community engagement, poetry and performance, human relations, diversity and social justice across the suncoast region,” Jim Shirley, Executive Director of the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County said.

The laureateship is an honorary position held by an emerging poet between the ages of 13 and 19 who is a Sarasota county or surrounding county resident with an interest to be involved in the literary arts community, in volunteer and community service, and in clubs, sports, or other co-curricular activities. Each Youth Poet Laureate serves a one-year term of service, during which they promote a wide range of literary arts and participate in ceremonial, educational and cultural activities throughout the region. They represent and celebrate the diversity and history, and vision of the youth for the suncoast region.

“Poetry has long been a mainstay of Bookstore1Sarasota’s mission,” said Georgia Court, owner of Bookstore1Sarasota. “Reading poetry, writing poetry, and enjoying life through the lens of poetry are all important to us. We are delighted to be part of this worthwhile initiative.”

The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County will accept submissions from talented Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto and Charlotte County writers to be considered for the area’s top literary honor for youth. Applications for the 2022 – 2023 Sarasota Youth Poet Laureate are due no later than September 30, 2022 by 5:00 PM EST. A Youth Poetry Laureate Committee, which broadly represents the region’s literary community, will review submissions and recommend candidates for consideration.

The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County will make the final appointment of the Youth Poet Laureate, who earns a $500 stipend and embarks on a year of opportunities as an ambassador for literary arts and youth expression. They also qualify to be selected as the National Youth Poet Laureate. The National Youth Poet Laureate initiative is a program of Urban Word, an award-winning youth literary arts and youth development organization, with offices in New York City and Los Angeles.

For program guidelines and to apply for the 2022 – 2023 Sarasota Youth Poet Laureate Program, visit SarasotaArts.org/youth-poet-laureate-program.

About the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County

The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County is a member-powered organization that serves as an advocate for arts and culture in Sarasota County. Founded in 1986 by a group of committed citizens, the Alliance has administered more than $38 million in grants to area artists and arts organizations. The Alliance works to ensure arts and culture remain essential to the continuing development of a vibrant, creative community. This is achieved through arts advocacy, education, and community outreach. Visit www.sarasotaarts.org and Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County on Facebook and Instagram.

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