Forward Arts Inc.’s “The Future TENse” campaign hopes to raise $10,000 for its 10th annual ALL CITY Teen Poetry Slam Festival.

The deadline is April 1 for donations to the area nonprofit’s drive.

A poetry slam is an Olympic-style poetry competition where poets are judged on the written and performance merit of original compositions. The ALL CITY festival is comprised of teams of young poets from area middle and high schools and youth organizations.

The competing age is 13-19, and all teams must have a coach/sponsor that is a representative of the competing school/organization.

Since its inception in 2007, the festival has been the culminating event of Forward Arts programming. Originally housed as a part of the Big Buddy Program under the name WordPlay, Forward Arts offers in-school creative writing/spoken word poetry residencies, an after-school youth poetry collective, a monthly teen open mic and an annual summer writing/performance camp.

This year’s ALL CITY festival will feature an alumni showcase, coronation of Baton Rouge’s first youth poet laureate, and a feature performance by internationally-acclaimed poet and author Danez Smith.

The festival will take place April 27-30 and May 6-7 in various locations throughout Baton Rouge. For more information, visit