PIQUA — For the fourth consecutive year, Piqua Arts Council (PAC) has been selected by the Ohio Arts Council to host the West Central Ohio Regional Finals for the National Endowment for the Arts’ Poetry Out Loud competition.
This national competition will take place on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. at Edison State Community College in Piqua. Registered for this year’s competition include students from Bethel High School, Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School, Christian Academy School, Dayton Youth Radio, Lehman Catholic High School, Piqua High School, The Miami Valley School, Twin Valley South High School and Xenia High School.
The national arts education program allows various students to compete in poetry memorization and recitation, and encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials. The program starts in the classroom and moves onto the regional level in partnership with an area organization. Qualifying students have the chance to compete at a state level and move onto a national level, where they receive an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. and the chance to win a $20,000 cash prize.
“Piqua Arts Council is responsible for a twelve-county region in the state of Ohio,” says PAC Program Director Seth Regula. “As one of the smaller towns in this region, we’re blessed with the opportunity to host this round of the competition. It’s truly an honor to be a part of an event that has the ability to make a unique impact on the minds of students all across the country.”
Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Since 2005, the program 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.
The West Central Ohio Regional Finals is open to the public and all guests are welcome to attend at no cost. The event will be available on Piqua Arts Council’s YouTube channel following the competition, thanks to Indian Nation Station, and photography services will be provided by Ganger Images.
This competition is coordinated by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and Ohio Arts Council. Sponsoring this year’s competition is Winans Chocolates & Coffees. For more information, please visit the PAC webpage at www.piquaartscouncil.org/poetry-out-loud.