The Arkansas Arts Council is seeking Arkansas high schools interested in participating in Poetry Out Loud, the statewide poetry recitation competition. Schools must register with the Arts Council by Nov. 1 to participate.

Competitions take place at the individual school level throughout the fall and culminate in the state-level competition on March 14, 2020. The state champion has the opportunity to compete in the National Poetry Out Loud in Washington, D.C., for a grand prize of $20,000.

Poetry Out Loud is an arts education program. Teachers who want their students to participate have access to free educational materials and technical assistance to prepare students for the competition. The program aims to help students learn poetry, build self-confidence, gain public speaking skills and learn about literary history.

The Arkansas Poetry Out Loud competition is open to public and charter schools, private schools and home-schooled students. Students must be in grades 9 through 12 to participate. The program is flexible and can be incorporated into other lesson plans, such as creative writing.

Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation and Arkansas Arts Council. For more information or to sign up, visit or call 501-324-9769.

About the Arkansas Arts Council

The Arkansas Arts Council, a division of Arkansas Heritage, advances the arts in Arkansas by providing services and supporting arts endeavors that encourage and assist literary, performing and visual artists in achieving standards of professional excellence. In addition, the Arkansas Arts Council provides technical and financial assistance to Arkansas arts organizations and other providers of cultural and educational programs. Other agencies are the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Arkansas State Archives, Delta Cultural Center in Helena, Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and the Old State House Museum. Funding for the Arkansas Arts Council and its programs is provided by the State of Arkansas and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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