Celebrating Creativity in Ohio

Big things are happening at The Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University in Ohio.  Because of their established outreach program, Teaching Poetry in the Schools,  Wick is a member of the WITS Alliance. Their most recent public event engaged the community in the creative process and helped each participant discover more about their personal vision conjured up by the word HOME:

Last weekend the Wick Poetry Center welcomed hundreds of guests to the May Prentice House and Poetry Park. While the second annual Kent Creativity Festival—a collaboration of Kent State University, the City of Kent, Main Street Kent, local businesses and non-profit organizations—provided community members a chance to paint, act, build, and dance, we invited participants to create and decorate poems through our Emerge application. Our guest writers crafted their own poetry from sources including a meditation on our ever-present black squirrels, the history of Kent, and a response to the politics surrounding the renewal of DACA by prominent American writers. Working from these original documents, writers of all ages were able to leap over the daunting anxiety of the blank page and craft their own “found” Emerge poem.

Next, each visitor had the chance to offer up their own original stanza to a growing community poem about Kent:

Kent is the smell of firewood and wet soil after the first rainshower of the year. Kent is music flowing straight into your soul calling you to sing out for the place that is your home. Kent is crunching acorns and car engines. Kent is a rumbling train with a blue heron flying overhead, reflected in a crooked river. Kent is a paintbrush adding the most vibrant colors to every aspect of life.

The Wick Poetry Center, led by poet David Hassler, helps lead a number of national  movements, including the WITS Alliance, Lit Net, and the Poetry Coalition. For more information about their work in Ohio, click here.

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Terry Blackhawk Honored for Education Activism in Detroit

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On August 24th, InsideOut Literary Arts Project will honor founder Terry Blackhawk for her visionary work in Detroit Public Schools. This fundraising event, Share the Light, will support education programs serving thousands of inner city students. The gala will take place at the McGregor Memorial Conference Center, a masterpiece of world-renowned architect Minoru Yamasaki. The evening will feature live performances by InsideOut students and alum. Supporters can attend the event and/or purchase pages in a tribute book to honor Dr. Blackhawk. For more information, click here.

Summer Institute for Teaching Artists

“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.” – Cornell West

Community-Word Project in partnership with the
Child Development Institute at Sarah Lawrence College
presents

Summer Institute 7.0

Teaching Social Justice:
Current Events through Art, Inquiry and Reflection
July 19-21, 2017

For Advanced Teaching Artists
at Sarah Lawrence College & the LeRoy Neiman Art Center in Harlem

Application Deadline: June 1st, 2017 June 9th, 2017
Scholarship Assistance Available

APPLICATIONAPPLICATION GUIDELINES

Summer Institute is a three-day intensive for Creative Writers, Visual and Multi-Media Artists, Musicians, Dancers, and Theater Artists with 2+ years experience teaching.

  • Deepen your teaching with experiential, inquiry and reflection processes
  • Connect with Teaching Artists from around the country
  • Expand your impact teaching for social justice
  • Explore creative processes and critical thinking
  • Investigate techniques for project-based arts integration
  • Build new strategies for classroom management
See highlights from last year’s workshop in our online
2016 Summer Institute Anthology.Questions? Please contact Katie Rainey attatip@communitywordproject.org
or see more about us at communitywordproject.org

Job Opening with WITS in Portland, Oregon

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The WITS Program in Portland, Oregon, is hiring a new Director of Youth Programs. It’s a full-time position, and you can click here to learn more about it.  Here is the official job description.

Director of Youth Programs: Literary Arts seeks a creative and experienced individual with a strong background in education and the literary arts to lead our county-wide Youth Programs. The Director supervises all program components, both on and off campuses. The Director is also responsible for supervising administrative staff and interns, hiring a diverse roster of teaching artists, staffing the Youth Programs Advisory Council, strategic planning, budgeting, supporting grant writing, program evaluation, and the continued development of the WITS Apprentice program for writers of color. Click here for more information about this position and how to apply. An initial review of applications will begin on March 31, 2017. Applications will be reviewed on an on-going basis.

WITS Portland Expands to Underserved Schools

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WITS Alliance member, Literary Arts, in Portland, Oregon, has expanded residencies to the schools in East County, serving students who have historically been underserved.

Gresham High School participated with a full slate of WITS youth programming during the 15-16 school year, including slams, author visits, creative writing residencies, and lectures. Read more about this incredible project >>

Teach It to the Moon and Back

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Peter Markus, senior writer with WITS Alliance member organization, InsideOut Literary Arts Project of Detroit, has a featured lesson plan in this month’s Teachers & Writers Magazine.

Markus (aka Mr. Pete) engages his students in conversation and asks the class to rethink what they know about the moon. Together they dig into their imaginations and create metaphors for the moon. “What I love about bringing the moon into the classroom is that it’s a universal object. A little girl in Manhattan—Kansas or New York—or an old man in Kenya, a mother in Missoula, each of these people has equal access to a shared sky, a sky that has up in it a communal light—a light that is sometimes a circle cut in half, a light that is at other times a hammock hung between stars—a light, in short, that all eyes can see in new, never-before ways.”

Read the full lesson at Teachers & Writers Magazine >>