San Bernardino, CA — The 2019 San Bernardino County finals for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest will be held on February 2nd,  from 2-5pm at the Garcia Center for the Arts in San Bernardino. The competition is presented by Arts Connection, the Arts Council of San Bernardino County, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the California Arts Council.
Poetry Out Loud encourages students to explore poetry by offering free educational materials, opportunities to work with local poets, and a dynamic recitation competition. The contest uses a pyramid structure; beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to county, state, and ultimately national finals in Washington, DC.
This year’s county contest includes competitors from Big Bear High School, The Grove School, PAL Academy, and W.A. Carter High School. Contestants will recite works they have selected from an anthology of more than 900 classic and contemporary poems. Participants in the program have benefited from materials created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, which are free to download at
The winner of the county finals and their parent or guardian will be flown to Sacramento to participate in the state finals on March 10th through 11th. The state champion will receive an all-expense-paid trip (with an adult chaperone) to compete in the national finals in Washington, DC, on April 30th through May 1st. The Poetry Out Loud national finals will present a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends, with a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.



About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. For more information, visit
About the Poetry Foundation 
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative partnerships, prizes, and programs. For more information, visit

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On Wednesday, April 4th, the Garcia Center for the Arts hosted the Poets and Writers -Inland Empire Literary Roundtable meeting.  With over 25 poets, writers, and artists in attendace, including 4 from Joshua Tree and a writer all the way from Barstow, the room was an inspiring space to be for the evening.

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About Poetry Out Loud

If you are interested in participating in the official Poetry Out Loud Contest, please contact your
state arts agency.

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with U.S. state arts agencies to support Poetry Out Loud, a contest that encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

After successful pilot programs in Washington, DC, and Chicago, Poetry Out Loud was launched in high schools nationwide in the spring of 2006 and has grown to involve millions of students across the country. 

Contest Structure and Awards

Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that starts at the classroom level. Winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals. 

Each winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington to compete for the national championship. The state winner's school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for his or her school library. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the National Finals.

Awards are made in the form of lump sum cash payouts, reportable to the IRS. Tax liabilities are the sole responsibility of the winners and their families.

Program Materials and Schedule

Poetry Out Loud curriculum materials include the online poetry anthology, a comprehensive teacher’s guide, videos of student performances, lesson plans, and promotional and media guides. Hard copies of  materials are free for teachers participating in the official program. 

While teachers, students, and poetry lovers everywhere can use this website and its free materials to organize their own contests, the official contest is limited to the programs run by each state's arts agency. If you are interested in participating in the official program, please contact your state arts agency.

Materials are sent to high schools beginning in August, and the program is run through early winter. (Poetry Out Loud does not require full class periods and can be completed in 2-3 weeks.) States hold their competitions by mid-March. Following the state finals, the National Finals will be held in Washington, DC, May 2-4, 2016.


The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $5 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It has embarked on an ambitious plan to bring the best poetry before the largest possible audiences.



Due to venue scheduling issues, we have had to move the dates for State Finals Competition in Sacramento: February 28th and 29th

This means that we have to move up our deadline date for County Competitions. Immediately following your County Competitions, PLEASE do everything possible to have your competition and all finalists' paper work submitted before February 7th. This includes three poem selections and photo /video release information. We will be on a very short timeline to create State Finals materials, plan the event and to make sure that finalists and their chaperones have travel arranged. 

The 2015-16 CA POL Teacher and School Registration Form is now live! We've simplified it based on your feedback from last year. 

As a reminder, this form should be completed once by the designated Lead Teacher for each school, and after consultation with County Coordinators to determine the best School Finals Competition date. 

Completion of this form is required for participation in the official Poetry Out Loud program, and must be submitted by the end of December 2015. 

For more information, please visit:

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Celebrate Halloween early with the Master of the Macabre, Edgar Allan Poe, in the award-winning one man tour-de-force "Lord, Help My Poor Soul: An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe," starring multi-award-winning IE actor Travis Rhett Wilson as Poe, and directed by multi-award-winning IE Actor/Producer/Writer/Director John Lynd.

Witness Poe, as he recounts in his own words the tragic and grim events in his life that inspired him to create some the greatest works of poetry, and horror fiction that the artistic words has ever known. Included are full-length recitations of "The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven," and of course the haunting love poem "Annabel Lee."

Published in Arts Event Calendar

A band of cowboys shooting at some unknown enemy. The Virgen de Guadalupe, hands clasped, head bowed, always watchful over her children. Soldiers raising the American flag at Iwo Jima. A pig smiling over a fence; unaware of its imminent end, and probable conversion into some delicacy to be enjoyed on a Sunday afternoon with family. The colorful, sometimes bright, sometimes muted, murals on San Bernardino commercial properties tell us the story of not only the business, but of the community in which they existed. More than an image on a facade advertising pupusas and Mexican food, they are stories of migration, hope, dreams, grief, and even loss. It is the story of America. And who better to tell these stories, than a poet and a photographer.

In an eclectic office, filled to the brim with books, paintings, and other tell-tale signs that an artist resides here (and that, really, could only belong to an English professor) I sat down to speak with photographer Thomas McGovern, and poet Juan Delgado about their new collaboration, Vital Signs; a book that forces us to pause and reflect on what we have been ignoring, and question what we have let go, and what we have to gain from bearing witness.

Isabel Quintero: I’ll start with the big questions. So, the title of the book is Vital Signs, which suggests life or looking for life. But a lot of the book, is about loss. How did you come up with the title?

Thomas McGovern: Technically, and this is sort of mundane, I already had the title for the body of work…But I think the bigger picture…would be that sort of vitality that all things [have]. Whether it be loss...experiencing loss is a very clear human experience and there’s a lot of vitality in it. So I think that sense of vitality would be in that sense of loss, or that sense of hope, would be one of those basic human emotions, with clearly a positive spin on it. We have a sort of optimistic point of view about it.

Juan Delgado: We did have a working title for the poetry, which the publisher, Malcolm, didn’t like, Lavish Weeds…About the lament or loss, we didn’t want to romanticize about [San Bernardino]–there was renewal, and there was hope, but there was also hardship. I don’t think there’s a paralyzing loss. There’s a sense of going through it. That’s one of the metaphors we see, in the paintings and murals being constantly redone, and reworked–but a lot of them are gone.

TM: And I think it’s a little corny to say it out loud but, without loss you really don’t know what you have. Just like anything in don’t really appreciate anything until you have loss. You don’t appreciate how beautiful and precious life is, and it’s fleeting. Loss is a really important part of that experience.

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Join Cindy Rinne for a FREE evening of poetry at the Museum of History and Art, Ontario in conjunction with the Ontario Invitational Art Exhibition.  Reservations are required.

About the Exhibition:

These artists were selected from a pool of over 100 artists who exhibited in the museum's juried "Ontario Open Art Exhibition" in 2013, which was adjudicated by Daniel Foster.  Mr. Foster is the Executive Director of Oceanside Museum of Art and the Founding Board Chair of Arts Connection - the Arts Council of San Bernardino County.

In selecting the "Invitational" participants for 2014, Mr. Foster responded enthusiastically to the artists' skilled execution of diverse expressions and subjects.  During his 2013 gallery walkthrough, he challenged the artists to always push beyond their comfort zone.  The resulting "Invitational" showcase explores a multiplicity of themes. 

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Mil-Tree’s “The Art Of War” was presented at Chaffey College in the Art Building’s Student Gallery March 12th from 12pm - 2pm. The show was curated by Rebecca Trawick, the director and curator of Chaffey’s Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art. The show’s original opening was in Joshua Tree at the Radio Free Joshua Tree Listening Lounge turned art gallery and spoken word salon on October 25th, 2013. It was part of the MBCAC Highway 62 Art Tours co-produced by Mil-Tree and RFJT. It was the brainchild of Carey Hayes and Tami Wood and curated by Mil-Tree’s Paula Jeane. The project successfully fulfilled the mission statement of Mil-Tree:

It is our mission to bring together veterans, active-duty military, and civilians in order to help each other to address the wounds of the soul through communication and art.

Through Mil-Tree, diverse people in the community come together to increase mutual understanding and respect, and are provided with safe opportunities to express, help process, and support the healing of soul wounds, especially those of war, through the power of storytelling, speak-outs, healing retreats, art, music, movement, and nature. 

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Andrea Gibson is not gentle with her truths. It is this raw fearlessness that has led her to the forefront of the spoken word movement– the first winner of the Women’s World Poetry Slam –Gibson has headlined prestigious performance venues coast to coast with powerful readings on war, class, gender, bullying, white privilege, sexuality, love, and spirituality.

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Séamus Ó Dubsláine and Siobhán Ó Mócháin Breathnach of the Corridor studio in Big Bear City are in a spring art exhibition entitled Sierra Wonders at Arts Visalia Visual Art Center, March 8-March 28, 2014. The show developed by gallery director Kevin Bowman draws from visual art and poetry in the publication Sierra Wonders. Published in 2013 by Three Rivers Arts Alliance, the 108-page hard-cover book includes sculptures and poetry by the Corridor studio. Opening reception is March 7, 6pm-8pm, 
214 East Oak Avenue, Visalia.

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tpsCreative Expressions, Inc. a 501-C-3 Corporation promoting the arts is giving FREE workshops in the Arts for youth ages 9-12 with a family member 18 years and older.

The workshops are open to all.

The workshops will focus on “Justice- Expressed in African American and Hispanic American Art” featuring:

Dance (Hip-Hop, Line Dance, Salsa, Step)

Drama (Reader’s Theatre)

Music (Songwriting, Instrument making)

Creative Writing (Poetry, Personal Stories)

Visual Arts (Painting, Print-making, Collage)

The workshops are lead by a group of professional, eager, fun, energetic and committed instructors of the arts.

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The Garcia Center for the Arts
536 W. 11th Street
San Bernardino, CA 92410

Tel: 909.381.1900

mailing address:

5500 University Parkway
Visual Arts Building, Rm. 308
San Bernardino, CA 92407

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