Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 28, 2011.


Send Austin's youth slam team to Nationals in San Francisco!

On Wednesday, March 23, 2011, Dr. Sheila Siobhan gave in to a sudden illness and passed away. For almost 10 years, Sheila had been the major force in Central Texas programs that use youth poetry to encourage literacy, self expression and personal growth. In 2007, she and her daughter, the late Shannon Leigh, created the Texas Youth Word Collective (TXYWC), a nonprofit that engages local youth in spoken word and fosters their development as writers and artists.

In 2008, Sheila's daughter Shannon passed away in a tragic accident. She was 20 years old. Shannon was an award-winning and beloved spoken word artist who had performed all over the world.

When Shannon passed, Sheila selflessly continued the work they started together - to help more young people find their voices in poetry and a community they could call home.

Among their most ambitious projects together, Shannon, Sheila and their volunteers would raise money to sponsor a team to travel to and participate in the Brave New Voices National Youth Poetry Festival and Slam, which takes place in a different US city each July. This year the festival will be in San Francisco. Even prior to founding TXYWC, Sheila had taken an Austin youth team to Nationals every year since 2003. The young people who were planning to attend this year have been honing their craft and performing for years to achieve their dream of participating in Brave New Voices.  After Sheila's passing, the poetry community of Austin has banded together to support these aspiring artists in reaching their goals, but we desperately need your help.

In order to attend, the team needs to raise over $6000 by June to cover the costs of travel, accommodations and registration for the event.  We have already received a generous $1000 from an individual donor in the poetry community to help us pay for registration fees for the team... However, we've still got a long way to go and your support would mean a lot to us and to these incredibly talented kids!

Texas Youth Word Collective is a 501(c)3 organization and all donations are fully tax-deductible.


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    5 backers

    Our loving heartfelt thanks!

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    13 backers

    They Speak, We Listen wristband

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    9 backers

    All above and a Youth Speaks CD

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    10 backers

    All above and an Austin Poetry Slam 2010 CD

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    All above and a Shannon Leigh CD

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    All above and an Sheila's avant garde classic opera CD

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    All above and exclusive promotional materials from the movies Insidious and Soul Surfer (includes eco-friendly pens & pencils, beautiful leather bound notebook, ladies tee shirt and a beach bag).

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    2 backers

    All above and a framed & signed original poem by a youth poet.

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    Texas Youth Word Collective members will perform at an Austin event for you! Private party, corporate events, etc - we'll bring the awesome and lots of wristbands, CDs and more for you to share with your guests!

Funding period

- (40 days)