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Music and Poetry  |  Waltham  |  2007 

Music and poetry events were presented by the youth-run monthly open mic events at More Than Words bookstore and art gallery featuring poetry, music, and performance art by local talent. The events drew an average of 50 performers and audience members of all ages, ethnicities, and experience. Professional poets, including members of the Boston Poetry Slam Team and local universities provided feature performances, workshops, feedback, and encouragement. The poetry ranged from rap, to free verse, to more traditional rhymes and meters, and draws from rich themes of love, war, hope, fear, and social commentary. The majority of the youth who plan and coordinate the open mic programs are in state custody programs, such as foster care, the court system, and/or behavioral or alternative education programs. The experience of running these events, as well as writing and performing for them, helped to empower these at-risk teens and build their self-esteem. It also gave them an outlet for self-expression, and a chance to network with other poets and artists.

Three young men participating in a poetry reading

Funded by the Waltham Cultural Council in 2007
Grant Recipient: More Than Words, Inc., $450

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