Piqua Arts Council to host poetry competition

PIQUA — For the second time, Piqua Arts Council (PAC) 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 PAC’s 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. Registered for this year’s competition are Botkins High School, Jackson Center High School, Piqua High School, Sidney High School, Springfield Clark CTC, Kettering Fairmont High School, Chaminade Julieanne High School and Xenia High School.

The competition will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11 at Edison State Community College in the Robinson Theatre. Guests will be required to abide by COVID-19 safety procedures, including wearing a mask and social distancing. The event will also be streamed live on the Piqua Arts Council’s YouTube channel.

The competition consists of students reciting 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. During the competition the judges will also perform.

Poetry Out Loud is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council and Polysource Inc with gift bag sponsors, Jay and Mary’s Bookstore, Winans Chocolates and Coffee, Scott’s Family McDonalds, Elite Etc. and Upper Valley Medical Center — Premier Health.