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Thursday, October 27, 2011
News from InsideOut Literary Arts Project #michlit
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InsideOut Mission Statement
By immersing students in the joy and power of poetry and literary self-expression, InsideOut inspires them to think broadly, create bravely and share their voices with the wider world. Guided by professional writers and celebrated by publications and performances, youth learn that their stories and ideas matter and that their pens can launch them off the page into extraordinary lives.
(adopted September 2011)
Reginald Marsh's "Savoy Ballroom, 1931"
Chilly winds off the Detroit River did not dampen the creative fires of students from Detroit International Academy for Young Women who presented their poetic tableau based on Reginald Marsh's "Savoy Ballroom" as part of the Detroit Institute of Arts "Inside!Out Bike Tour" on Saturday, October 15. Throughout the morning, groups of riders organized by the DIA visited the digital reproduction of Marsh's masterpiece on Rivard Plaza and enjoyed an InsideOut "Echo Effect" from our students. The Ladies' poetry captured the swaying lines and vibrant tones of the artwork, not to mention the hearts of an enthusiastic group of fans. Scott Boberg, Head of Interpretive Programs, Learning and Interpretation for the DIA, reported that he "heard nothing but rave responses to the readings in response to Savoy Ballroom. You all were a major hit and one of the greatest moments for participants on Saturday!"
Terry Blackhawk and Joseph Verge at Sun Life Rising Star VIP Awards Reception (photo credit Sun Life)
IO wins Sun Life Rising Star Award second year in a row
InsideOut Literary Arts Project is proud to be one of three Detroit non-profits to receive $50,000 through the Sun Life Financial Inc. Rising Star awards program, and the only Detroit group to win the award two years in a row. As part of the award, Citywide Poet Joseph Verge was surprised with a $5,000 Rising Star scholarship presentation on October 13th at his high school -- Arts Academy in the Woods.
Joseph has participated with IO since 2008 when he joined the Summer Literary Arts Movement. He then became the youngest member of IO's after school poetry program Citywide Poets. Joseph has performed his poems for many audiences, including WSU's annual MLK Day Tribute Luncheon at Orchestra Hall (in 2010 and 2011) and at the San Francisco Opera House in July 2011 as member of IO's Brave New Voice Youth Poetry Slam team which won 4th place from over 750 youth and 50 teams from across the US and around the world. IO selected Joseph to attend a special invitational youth poetry workshop at the White House in May 2011, where his performance of his poem "Three-Two-One-POW!" was live streamed across the nation.
On October 15, Joseph and guests also enjoyed a VIP pre-show reception prior to the latest production by Cirque du Soleil. Sun Life Financial is an Official Sponsor of the 2011 Cirque du Soleil Big Top and Arena Touring Shows, as well as the U.S. leg of Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour.
(l to r) CWP alumna/U-W sophomore Myriha Burton, poet Sonia Sanchez, Ariana Washington
InsideOut Youth Build Relationships With Legends
Ariana Washington, Joseph Verge and Anthony Grimmett traveled to University of Wisconsin Madison, participating in the 7th Annual Passing The Mic Spoken Word Festival. Sponsored by U-W Madison's Office of Multicultural Affairs as part of its First Wave Hip Hop Arts Learning Community, youth writers from across the Midwest took part in performances and workshops with such griots as Sonia Sanchez and Danny Simmons, as well as Tony Award Winners Mayda del Valle and Black Ice with Detroit's own Jessica Care Moore. During her workshop, Sanchez emphasized the importance of craft, encouraging students to "respect this thing called language...respect this thing we call poetry." Ariana, deeply moved, referred to her experience in meeting Sanchez as "heavy" and "one of the most amazing experiences of my life." Joseph wowed audiences with his poem Jamar, dedicated to his friend whose life was taken due to gun violence. Anthony, overwhelmed by the experience, returned with a renewed focus on his writing and his work as a youth leader with InsideOut.
Sarah Smarch, Anna West and Alise Alousi reading their choreopoem inspired by Helen Frankenthaler's "The Bay"
2011-2012 InsideOut Writers-in-Residence
Aricka Foreman & Ben Alfaro writing poetry at DIA workshop
Special thanks to the Detroit Institute of Arts for hosting our Writers Orientation Meeting, Oct. 26th. Captured in these photo, IO writers taking part in a writing about art workshop led by IO's founder, Dr. Terry Blackhawk. We are so excited to have a diverse and talented group of new and returning writers work with IO this year, reaching an approximate 4,500 students. 35 schools have signed up for our program and almost half have started classes already. To learn more about our writers-in-residence click here.