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Mass L.E.A.P. is a collective of spoken word poets, teaching artists and educators, building a vibrant teen poetry community in Boston.
Mass L.E.A.P. is a collective of spoken word poets, teaching artists and educators, building a vibrant teen poetry community in Boston.
70 backers pledged $3,409 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$3,409

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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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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Much gratitude. Every little bit helps.

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    3 backers
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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A special thank you CD with songs and poems from Mass LEAP members and supporters.

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    7 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A special thank you CD and an official Mass LEAP tee shirt.

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    26 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A special thank you CD, a neat tee shirt, and free entrance into all Mass LEAP events for one year.

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    7 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A CUSTOM POEM OR SONG written by Alex Charalambides, Jade Sylvan, Amanda Torres, or Ayano Strickland (your choice) on ANY TOPIC YOU'D LIKE (good taste please...), a special thank you CD, Mass LEAP tee shirt, and free entrance into all Mass LEAP events for one year.

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    4 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    A custom poem or song written by any of the above poets PERFORMED JUST FOR YOU as a YouTube video, a neat tee shirt, a special thank you CD, and free entrance into all Mass LEAP events FOREVER.

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    4 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A custom poem or song written just for you by super-famous poet Regie Gibson, a neat tee shirt, a special thank you CD, and free entrance to all Mass LEAP events FOREVER.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $700 or more About $700

    Jade Sylvan will come to your house and cook you dinner (Greater Boston residents only - you buy groceries, Jade comes by and whips up a feast), plus a personal Regie Gibson poem, a neat tee shirt, a special thank you CD, and free entrance in to all Mass LEAP events FOREVER.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    An official "sponsor" name-check & "thank you" on our website, a personal Regie Gibson poem with video, Jade Sylvan coming to your house and cooking you dinner, a neat tee shirt, a special thank you CD, and free entrance into all Mass LEAP events FOREVER!

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Funding period

- (21 days)