047-1InsideOut Literary Arts, the WITS Alliance organization in Detroit, is seeking a new Executive Director. Their founder, Terry Blackhawk, is retiring after and illustrious 20 year run. Check out the press release (below) or their website for more information.

Founder Terry Blackhawk Retiring in June

(DETROIT, MI) InsideOut Literary Arts Project ( iO) is pleased to announce a national search for its next Executive Director, as founding director Dr. Terry Blackhawk prepares to retire June 30th after 20 years.

“I am excited about entering a new phase with iO and thrilled to see the organization flourishing as we launch our 20th anniversary year,’’ says Blackhawk, an award-winning poet and educator. “The work has grown beyond my wildest imaginings.’’

iO was founded in 1995 in just five Detroit high schools, with weekly classroom visits by a writer-in-residence, the publication of a literary journal for each school, and a vision of sharing the power of poetry with youth. Twenty years later, iO has taught more than 50,000 K–12 students how to “think broadly and create bravely.’’ iO’s work has earned national exposure(including invitations to the White House) and a feature presentation on PBS NewsHour.

Blackhawk’s retirement will coincide with a series of public arts celebrations honoring her work and iO’s longevity. The anniversary year will be anchored by the publication of “To Light A Fire: 20 Years with the InsideOut Literary Arts Project,’’ an essay compilation published by Wayne State University Press and edited by Blackhawk and iO’s Senior Writer, Peter Markus. With essays by 23 iO writers, the book shines a light on the triumphs and challenge of using poetry as a bridge of understanding between a city and its children. “When I founded InsideOut in the mid 1990s, the burgeoning creative writing movement, industry, community — call it what you will —was beginning to take off but I could not have imagined the reach that it has today.’’

The search for Blackhawk’s successor, who is expected to be named in September, is being led by the Non-profit Personnel Network. Long-time iO Associate Director Alise Alousi will manage day-to-day operations starting July 1st.

CONTACT: Nichole Christian, director of communications, info@insideoutdetroit.org or 313.577-4601

ABOUT iO: InsideOut Literary Arts Project is a nationally recognized 501c3 nonprofit, celebrated as a hub of creativity for Detroit K-12 students who are curious about exploring their worlds through poetry and self-expression. Major funders include Detroit Public Schools, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Skillman Foundation and the United Way of Southeastern Michigan.


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