Ventura County High School Students Compete for Spot in National Poetry Out Loud Contest

The Ventura County Arts Council, which recently received the highest ranking by the California Arts Council, will host this year’s Poetry Out Loud Contest at the EP Foster Library, Ventura. The community is invited to watch nine first-place high school students recite poems demonstrating their grasp of the writer’s interpretation at the Poetry Out Loud contest as they vie for first place in the county. The event takes place at 3 p.m. on February 27 at EP Foster Library’s Topping Room, 651 E. Main St., Ventura. The county winner goes to the state competition, held in Sacramento March 18-19. The state winner advances to the national competition in Washington D.C.

Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation program initiated by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2005 in concert with The Poetry Foundation and sponsored in California by the California Arts Council. It is a free program that helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, learn about their literary heritage and compete for college scholarship funding.

The Ventura County Arts Council, recently awarded with the highest marks by the California Arts Council in its reapplication for the State-Local Partnership grant, has received more than $64,000 to be used over the next 21 months. This designation means VCAC has moved into the top bracket, receiving a 6 in a 1-6 ranking for the first time – joining other, much larger counties in the top bracket, including Los Angeles City and County, San Francisco County and Alameda County.

For nearly 20 years, the Ventura County Arts Council, an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organization, has served Ventura County residents as the local arts agency designated by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors to serve the county’s citizens in partnership with the California Arts Council. VCAC advocates for the arts and for increased arts instruction in schools, and fosters community development through the arts, serving county artists, arts organizations and the general public through partnerships with arts supporters, businesses, foundation, and community leaders. For more information, visit