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Igniting Student Potential Through The Power Of Poetry

The Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center is proud to partner with the California Arts Council, the Ventura County Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts to bring the Ventura County Poetry Out Loud Competition to our community!


FEBRUARY 27, 2024
6 PM to 8 PM

A DownStage Event

 at the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center

ADMISSION IS FREE to the Ventura County Arts Council's Poetry Out Loud Competition at the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center!

Poetry Out Loud

The goal of Poetry Out Loud is to advance spoken poetry among high school students through oral interpretations of published poems. Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation program initiated by the National Endowment for the Arts in concert with The Poetry Foundation and sponsored in California by the California Arts Council. Ventura County Arts Council facilitates the program in Ventura County. Each year the Ventura County Arts Council participates in Poetry Out Loud which inspires in local high school students the confidence to make themselves heard, using one of the most powerful tools at their disposal—art. 

Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Participants master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. California's Poetry Out Loud is the largest event of its kind in the U.S., and has grown steadily since its inception.


How it works

The structure of Poetry Out Loud is similar to a spelling bee. This annual program starts in the fall, with high school teachers using the free Poetry Out Loud teacher tool kit and related materials to teach poetry recitation and run classroom competitions. Classroom winners advance to a schoolwide competition; school champions compete at the district or county level by mid-February. County winners are then treated to an unforgettable two days at the California Poetry Out Loud State Finals in Sacramento, and a chance to compete in the national competition in Washington, D.C.

The California state champion receives:

  • $200 cash prize and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

  • $500 for their school to purchase literary materials

  • An opportunity to compete at the National Finals for college scholarship funds

Visit for detailed information and to check out POL action across the country.

Partners in Support of Poetry Out Loud

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