The Nurture the Creative Mind Foundation continues to branch out and create new innovative ways to help youth express themselves. Recently we hosted our very 1st full art exhibit called "Poetography," an exhibit that has a mission to use creative and artistic expression to empower marginalized youth, helping them establish self-value and dignity through the application of poetry and photography.
Photo Credit: Cat Palmer
Over a 10 week period we conducted 10-1hour poetry workshops that encouraged self expression. None of the students we worked with had any significant formal training in writing poetry other than what they learned in school. In the beginning many were uninterested, but after a few workshops more and more students began to "buy in" to the idea. By the end 85% of the students were still activity participating in the workshops and had submitted multiple poetic pieces. Here is an example of a poem that was written during one of these workshops:
"I am not very smart, but I love to learn. I wonder when I’m going to be smarter. I hear the teacher. I see things. I want to be known for being smart. I am not very smart, but I love to learn. I pretend to be smarter, when I’m really not. I feel the smarticles going in. I worry…will I ever get smarter. I WILL improve my grade. I WILL show everyone what I can do. They WILL know what I am. I am not very smart, but I will be.
–Tania, age 14, NCM student 2012"
After the students had written their poems we then gathered them and gave their pieces to NCM member and local photographer, Cat Palmer, so that she could take pictures that represented their poems. This process was extremely exciting for the students and was a special privilege for the NCM group. To see the students light up and come to life as they went through the process of discovering themselves, sharing that discovery and then supporting each other as they were supported reaffirmed the impact and need for the NCM Foundation's services. The picture below is the one that was taken by the photographer to represent the poem above:
photo credit: Cat Palmer
We decided that it wouldn't be fair to the students or for the community for us not to share this experience and the beauty it produced. That being the case we contacted local Crowley's gallery and asked if they would allow us to host an exhibit opening in their space. After we showed them the poems and pictures and explain the background and vision of the exhibit the owner gladly agreed.
The exhibit will continue to be displayed through May 2012 at Crowley's Gallery in Ogden, Utah.
If you would or an organization you know of would like to partner with the NCM Foundation to recreate the Poetography exhibit please contact us at 801-710-4238 or amirjackson@NurturetheCreativeMind. Than you