Piqua Arts Council to host Poetry Competition

For the Miami Valley Today

PIQUA — For the third time, Piqua Arts Council will be hosting the West Central Regional Final for the National Endowment for the Arts’ Poetry Out Loud Competition.

The National Endowment for the Arts works with state partners, the Ohio Arts Council in our case, and they in turn work with regional partners to host this competition where the winner takes home a $20,000 cash prize. Piqua Arts Council is responsible for a 12-county region, and competitors this year will come from Piqua High School, Newton High School, Xenia High School, Jefferson Township High School, Kettering Fairmont High School, Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School and Milton-Union High School.

The competition will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 10, at Upper Valley Career Center’s Hartzell Auditorium, 8811 Career Dr. in Piqua. All guests are welcome to attend at no cost. The event will be available on the Piqua Arts Council’s YouTube channel following the competition.

The competition is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. The program starts at the classroom/school or at the local level with an area organization. The students recite one poem in each of two rounds for a panel of three judges that award points based on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, and overall performance. Winners then may advance to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the national finals. Additionally, judges will perform during the competition.

Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 4.1 million students and 68,000 teachers from 17,000 schools and organizations in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa.

This competition is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, Hartzell Industries, and Winans Chocolates & Coffees.

For more information, visit www.piquaartscouncil.org/poetry-out-loud.