MASS L.E.A.P. stands for Massachusetts Literary Education and Performance. We are a collective of spoken word poets, teaching artists and educators who are working to build a more vibrant teen poetry community in the Greater Boston Area and beyond in Massachusetts. We are developing increased opportunities for youth poets to write & perform, teaching artists to train, and educators who wish to bring the dynamic, engaging art of spoken word poetry into the class room.
We are establishing teacher training programs that will lead to in-school residencies, creating literary performance curriculum that matches state standards and building partnerships with established youth organizations and poetry groups.
We are creating continuing event series that include open mics, teen poetry slams and writing workshops, culminating in an annual youth poetry festival, much like the popular, award winning "Louder than a Bomb" series in Chicago.
There's a need for this network in Boston. Teen spoken word programs have proliferated in large metropolitan areas throughout the United States. Boston has a rich literary tradition, an active poetry slam scene and a number of great organizations that work with young people. Mass L.E.A.P. is working to bring a lot of these talented poets and teaching artists together to mobilize a stronger youth community in Boston and beyond.
Youth spoken word promotes literary, leadership, youth development, speech skills and community. The potential for increased communication and interaction with teens from different areas through such a positive medium is off the charts.
We have a strong network and model for effectively reaching out to young people who want a safe, positive space to share their work and develop their voices. We are in need of resources to kick these plans into gear! We started with a leadership team of 6 teaching artists in January and have increased our numbers to over 30 poets and educators who are currently involved in working groups, addressing our various needs. We believe in community building through shared values & transparency. We're inviting people who are already involved in this work. All of this has been done on a volunteer level, but part of our plan is to develop ourselves professionally so we can focus on these plans even further. We have over 50 years of experience on our leadership team alone. We all have different backgrounds, but share a common purpose.
Money is needed to secure performance & workshop venues, pay teaching artists & performers for their work, and to cover office supplies, printing & promotional materials. All money donated will be put to immediate use in implementing our programs, series and increasing our visibility. Once we have an initial budget, we will be better able to tap into increased fund raising, sponsorship, partnership and grant opportunities.
Take a LEAP with us into creating an amazing youth poetry community in Massachusetts!
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