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Uniting classic poetry with modern performance art to serve as a conduit for healing, empowerment, visibility and change.
Uniting classic poetry with modern performance art to serve as a conduit for healing, empowerment, visibility and change.
137 backers pledged $7,357 to help bring this project to life.

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The Woman of Her Words project unites classic poetry with modern performance art to serve as a conduit for healing, empowerment, visibility and change.

Hi! I’m Poet Jen Harris and I believe poetry can change the world. For the past 3 years I have dedicated my life to developing a slam poetry scene in Kansas City because this art form has proven to serve as an instrument of change. 

Poet Jen Harris
Poet Jen Harris

Spoken word is growing in popularity and visibility because it empowers people to reveal the full spectrum of their humanity. In our society there is a shortage of opportunity to tell the whole truth and the byproduct of that insufferable silence is a deep disconnection with the world around us. Spoken word opens the doors to conversations about inequality, personal struggles, trauma and triumph against all odds. It gives both the writer and the audience members permission to say “me too.” It develops leadership through personal empowerment, confidence through acceptance – it makes us better, healthier people and we take that out into our communities.  

Kansas City Poetry Slam
Kansas City Poetry Slam

SO HERE’S WHY I NEED YOUR HELP:   

BUDGET BREAKDOWN: 

$2,500 TOUR 

$2,500 ALBUM Completion & Release Party 

$2,000 BOOK #2 Completion & Publication  

TOTAL: $7,000

Reasons 1 & 2:  I have already released by first book of poetry (Slammed) and because of the incredible response I took select poems into Element Recording Studios and cut a spoken word EP which I want to bring to life in the form of a tangible CD. I will also be finishing my second book of poetry, Me Too, which will include my 60-minute, spoken word, one woman show Woman of Her Words while I serve as a Writer-in-Resident at the Charlotte Street Foundation Sept 2016 - Sept 2017. The scheduling, booking, recording, mixing and mastering are done, but designing/pressing an album + distribution, editing poetry and finalizing a play + the costs of bringing a new book to light (design, format) + marketing materials (print and online) + album release event & all associated costs + venue rental for Woman of Her Words debut & related costs + touring = not enough hours in the day I could work to bring such a lofty endeavor to fruition.  

Slammed
Slammed

Reason #3: I’m going on tour, from Kansas City to California, to share both the contents of the Slammed and the Flaunting Her Mediocrity album with audiences whom I believe will be positively affected. The tour puts me on the road for a month which means I have two "homes" to consider - the one I will leave behind and return to - and the road. I've already booked the shows, secured places to stay, purchased and packed the merch, now all I need is to get there and do what I was born to do! 

SO, JUST WHO AM I? (The long version) 

Poet Jen Harris
Poet Jen Harris

 

I am a Kansas City-based Spoken Word Poet, Women's Rights and LGBT activist, contributing member & founder of Createful Studios, founder and host of KC Poetry Slam, formerly PoUnd SLAM and co-owner of the Bohemian Bungalow, the artist commune-esque house where my partner Joy (a painter) and I have actively housed traveling musicians and poets for the last four years. In the past 3 years I have performed more than 100 times in a plethora of states, all while finishing my degree, working full time, and running Kansas City Poetry Slam + teaching + volunteering + traveling + writing. My dedication to building a destination poetry scene in KC is infinite and inexhaustible.

 CREDENTIALS: 

I was the first person in my family to go to college. Seven years later, I (finally) graduated Cum Laude from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts, emphases in Communication Studies, English Language and Literature. I am the recipient of the 2015 UMKC Jim Wanser Pride Award for outstanding LGBT community activism in Kansas City. Additionally, I received the Top 3 Poets in Kansas City award from Pitch Magazine 2014 & 2015, and the 2009 ACP Kansas Journalist of the Year. I founded PoUnd SLAM in 2014 and rebranded it to Kansas City Poetry Slam in June 2016. We formed the first Poetry Slam, Inc certified poetry slam in Kansas City, attended national events, hosted tri-state competitions and formed a slam team who rehearsed weekly for an entire year in an effort to perform at Nationals. Through PoUnd SLAM and Poetic Underground we nurtured emerging poets in Kansas City to find their voice and use it! 

My first book of poetry, Slammed, released via Spartan Press Feb. 27, 2016. 

Tickets and the first printing of books sold out opening night. 200 copies sold the first month. Not bad for a local poet. 

CURRENTLY: 

*As you've heard by now* 

  • Me Too & Woman of Her Words are in process. 
  • Educational spoken word curriculum for positive change is in process. 
  • The Multiple Personalities tour is BOOKED throughout Sept. 2016 
  • The Flaunting Her Mediocrity album release show is tentatively scheduled at The Buffalo Room October 9, 2016 and will feature the astounding musicial stylings of Calvin Arsenia, Eman Chalshotori, and Mirina Landry prior to my performance. 
  • Tickets are EXCLUSIVELY available at the $50 donation level.
  • Host and founder of Kansas City Poetry Slam & Poetry After Dark Open Mic, an all-ages open mic.  

MORE ABOUT THE ALBUM: 

I worked with the remarkable Joel Nanos at Element Recording Studios to record Flaunting Her Mediocrity. The album includes the delicious musical stylings of Eman Chalshotori, Mirina Landry, Ryan Wilks and Summer Osborne and was mixed and mastered by Mr. Nanos himself. 

IN THE RECENT PAST: 

In 2015 I opened for internationally-acclaimed Spoken Word Poet Andrea Gibson at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, featured in a private showcase at the illustrious FOLK Alliance International Conference, and produced shows for contemporary, published poets including Clementine Von Radics, Joseph Capehart, Pages Matam, and Alexander Dang, as the Slammaster of Kansas City's first PSi certified poetry slam, PoUnd SLAM (now Kansas City Poetry Slam) in addition to performing across the country at music festivals, private shows, on college campuses, LGBTQIA community centers, women's rights empowerment groups, protests and rallies, poetry readings, living rooms, parking lots, city sidewalks and anywhere else my voice can make a positive impact. 

Poet Jen Harris & Andrea Gibson
Poet Jen Harris & Andrea Gibson

WHY I DO THIS: 

Poetry has made me the ethnographer of a generation tangled in tradition and technology. My work is poetic memoir, a confessional assortment of personal and adopted stories of life on and off the grid; substance use, abuse survival, coming out stories, the New Age shift in mindfulness, the cross-country migration of artists in search of paying work both plentiful and fulfilling, the demise of the corporate culture, the defiance of media-induced prepackaged lives and conversely, the beauty created when people unite on a common front for a common purpose. Culturally, we have never existed in a time with so much need and so many wasted resources. I feel a deep moral responsibility to document injustice and victory alike in an effort to put human faces on the social movements of our time. 

The Mic
The Mic

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!  

I love what I do. I truly believe Spoken Word can inspire constructive change both in our selves and our communities, empower the disenfranchised, unite us in our humanity and make us better, individually and as a collective species. 

Thank you so very much for your time and consideration. 

Together we CAN and WILL make the world a better place.

Risks and challenges

The challenges or potentially unexpected obstacles related to the Woman of Her Words project are minimized, in part because, I have already done a large majority of the work associated with this endeavor. The 2nd book of poetry is written and editing is in process. The 60 minute one-women spoken word show is a culmination of books 1,2 and new work. The Flaunting Her Mediocrity album is already recorded, mixed, and mastered. The venues and vendors are booked. The quotes are locked in. The publisher is committed. The artwork for marketing has been created. The tour is booked. Now I just need to fund these wild ambitions of mine and bring this work to the world - that's where you come in.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for believing in this project.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    Eternal Gratitude

    At the $1 level you receive my eternal gratitude. Thank you for supporting my art. Your generosity only further embeds my belief that the world is full of incredible people.

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Bronze

    You're awesome! At this level you or your business will receive:
    • Sponsorship acknowledgement on Poet Jen Harris' website from August 2016 - December 2016. http://www.poetjenharris.com/sponsors/
    • PJH reserves the right to decline sponsorship from entities whose values conflict with her own.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Silver

    Hey there, dreamweaver! At this level you or your business will receive:
    • Sponsorship acknowledgement on Poet Jen Harris' website from August 2016 - December 2016
    • (1) digital copy of the "Flaunting Her Mediocrity" album
    • (1) 8" x 10" autographed album flier (unframed), designed by Ryan Wilks. http://www.poetjenharris.com/sponsors/
    • PJH reserves the right to decline sponsorship from entities whose values conflict with her own.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Gold(en) TICKETS

    You have no idea how grateful I am for your support. I am beaming!
    At this level you or your business will receive:
    • Sponsorship acknowledgement on Poet Jen Harris' website from August 2016 - December 2016
    http://www.poetjenharris.com/sponsors/
    • (1) digital copy of the "Flaunting Her Mediocrity" album
    • (1) 8" x 10" autographed album flier (unframed), designed by Ryan Wilks.
    • (2) tickets to the Poet Jen Harris album release party, Sunday, Oct. 9 7p-9p at the Buffalo Room in KCMO. ONLY 100 TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE - NONE WILL BE AVAILABLE THE NIGHT OF THE SHOW. GET THEM HERE AND NOW.
    • Tickets will be held at the door the night of the event. None will be mailed nor emailed.
    • *PJH reserves the right to decline sponsorship from entities whose values conflict with her own.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Platinum

    You are extraordinary. Thank you for believing in me and helping me to create a future in which I intend to inspire the masses to rise up and use their own voices for the greater good. At this level you or your business will receive:
    • Sponsorship acknowledgement on Poet Jen Harris' website from August 2016 - August 2017 http://www.poetjenharris.com/sponsors/
    • Sponsorship acknowledgement in Jen's 2nd book of poetry, Me Too, which will include the full script of her 60 minute one-woman show, Woman of Her Words.
    • (1) autographed copy of this book due out October 2017 (to be mailed upon publication)
    • (1) limited edition "Flaunting Her Mediocrity" CD
    • (1) 8" x 10" autographed album flier (unframed), designed by Ryan Wilks.
    • PJH reserves the right to decline sponsorship from entities whose values conflict with her own.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    For the Love of Art

    Whoa. Do you know what this means (besides that you are a remarkably generous person)?
    HERE'S WHAT I'M GOING TO DO:
    If YOU donate at this level I will tattoo your name on my body.
    The font size, art, location, tattoo artist and everything related to the tattoo is at my discretion. I will live cast / video-document the entire process and post it online + pictures of the final tattoo. You MUST provide your first and last name upon donation. I will choose which combination fits the tattoo. This offer is null and void for anonymous or faux names.
    *PJH reserves the right to decline sponsorship from entities whose values conflict with her own. Only one name per donation.

    For the Love of Art I'm willing to do what it takes to fund this project. Thank you for joining me on this adventure.

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Funding period

- (30 days)