Reflection And Inspiration
Poems with language that stirs the heart and energizes the mind encouraged further progress and continued action.
Read the collection of Emerge poems created by the forum participants and our Traveling Stanzas community
Community Poems give participants the opportunity to co-create a written work through collaboratively adding lines around a topic or theme relevant to cultural events or ideals. Conference attendees collectively wrote two poems—“My Voice” and “This Day”—giving voice to their experience as UPF members and participants.
Stanzas creative programs and tools spark creative
ideas and encourage new voices
At the Wick Poetry Center we have seen the power of poetry to give voice to important cultural issues and topics. The United Philanthropy Forum provides members with valuable opportunities to learn and grow through regional and national initiatives. UPF’s Annual Conference gathered longstanding and new member organizations to hear presentations from recognized thought leaders as well as network with like-minded foundations. Each representative brought with them a unique perspective and working background to contribute to the conference. Our goal was to utilize Wick’s award winning Traveling Stanzas’ project which includes community outreach, technology based tools, and crafted writing methods to help conference participants reflect on their current experience working in philanthropy.
Visitors had the chance to view ten free-standing banners positioned throughout the conference space. The banners displayed selected illustrated poems from Wick’s forthcoming “Writing Across Borders” exhibit which focuses on the poetry of refugees and immigrants in the local North Hill Akron resettlement community. The collection of banners served as both a valuable reminder of the population that many member organizations serve on a daily basis and a source of inspiration to contribute their own stories.
Participants also interacted with two writing activities during the Heart, Mind, and Body sessions. Emerge allowed people to cross out words from a source text in order to create a “found poem”. Visitors utilized the speakers’ speeches and articles in the creative process, producing many digitally and analog based poems that were then decorated and displayed on a gallery wall. Community Poems were also constructed from participants feedback to the prompts “my voice” and “this day”. The prompts spurred creatively written responses to introspective moments and significant conversations throughout the conference. On the last day of the conference a final composition was compiled for each topic and performed live by UPF board members during the closing session.
We are thankful for UPF’s willingness to welcome us into their community! The conference participants willingness to engage with generated poems with language that stirs the heart and energizes the mind encouraged further progress and continued action. We hope that our contribution to UPF has only just begun.