Youth Programs

Very Special Arts

Very Special Arts of California is a highly recognized national program affiliated with the John F. Kennedy Center. We are proud to be affiliates and providers of this arts education program that directly involves special needs students from the Yuba-Sutter area with hands on activities and programs that are not otherwise available to them.

2014 marked our 30th year holding this festival and every year becomes bigger and better with not only art and crafts stations but PhotoBooths, face paintings, performances, and awards for a student showcase.

Each year, 7 million people of all ages and abilities participate in VSA programs across the state, in every aspect of the arts – from visual arts, performing arts, to the literary arts.

Four principles guide VSA:

  • Every young person with a disability deserves access to high quality arts learning experiences.
  • All artists in schools and art educators should be prepared to include students with disabilities in their instruction.
  • All children, youth, and adults with disabilities should have complete access to cultural facilities and activities.
  • All individuals with disabilities who aspire to careers in the arts should have the opportunity to develop appropriate skills.

VSA is funded through local sponsorships and operated by volunteers.

Poetry Out Loud

California Poetry Out Loud is open to high school students in all kinds of schools — public, private, parochial, independent, charter and home schooled students.

Poetry Out Loud builds on the recent resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as demonstrated by the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of rap music among our youth. The program encourages students, though the study of poetry, to master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and internalize our rich literary heritage.

Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that starts at the classroom level. In California, winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to a county and possibly district competition, then to the state competition in Sacramento, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington DC.

Each winner at the county level receives a trip to compete at the state capitol along with a dinner reception and a certificate of recognition from his or her legislative representative. 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.

Congratulations to our 2014 winners! Sutter County, Gabrielle Mathews. Yuba County, Sierra Van Houten.