Letter from the Director – Feb. 2011 updateon Feb 01 in Uncategorized by email@example.com
Letter from the Director
Feb. 1, 2011
In addition to new offices at Wayne State University, the New Year has also brought a new look to our website, where visitors will notice the prominence of one of the greatest poets of all time, a certain Miss Emily Dickinson who lived and wrote in Amherst, Massachusetts in the 19th century. We celebrated Emily’s 180th birthday on December 10, 2010 by debuting a song cycle based on her poems, by hosting a talk by MacArthur awarded poet Edward Hirsch, and by serving delicious cakes baked from Emily’s recipes at a birthday reading featuring a prominent local minister, a radio host and a city council president.
Many may by this time be asking – “Why Emily?” Why would a struggling nonprofit, dedicated to helping young people grow as writers, devote so much energy to this long gone poet? Isn’t she too difficult? Is she even relevant? Well, we are just a few weeks into the New Year, and I am happy to announce that Emily Dickinson is alive and well. Students at Cass Tech and Detroit School of Arts will study her in their classrooms through materials prepared by the National Endowment for the Arts. DSA students in John Wood’s art classes are creating videos based on her work. Youth in an after school workshop with performance poet par excellence Jessica Care Moore are creating graphic novels inspired by her poems, and “Camp Dickinson” – a five-day multi media arts mentorship workshop at the Virgil H. Carr Center – will mentor youth in creating original music, visual art and dance inspired by the poet’s words. See attached brochure here and application here.
Who would have thought that the words of a reclusive, Victorian woman could give rise to a gospel freedom song, graphic novels, videos, modern dance, graffiti murals and more? I am excited about this work and its year-end showcase, May 26th at the Detroit Institute of Arts Auditorium, and hope you will mark your calendars and join us in celebrating this richness. If you are reading this, you understand that creativity and the arts are not mere frills in students’ lives. In an age of declining literacy and reading achievement, through projects such as the Big Read, InsideOut aims to make the joy and intensity of language a living experience for our young people. We aim to promote the strongest, most vibrant literary culture possible through our programs, our writers and our students.
Good words to you!