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Arts Commission

Youth Word Box Project

Melissa Gordon - lead artist

Districts 1, 3, 5, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25; Bordeaux, Whites Creek, Madison, Edgehill, Woodbine/South Nashville, Fisk/Meharry, TSU, Bell Meade, and Green Hills

Poet and author Melissa Gordon was awarded $4,000 to lead the Youth Word Box Project. Aligning with Mayor Barry’s efforts around youth violence reduction, Ms. Gordon is to setting up word collection boxes at schools and other locations with prompts for students to respond in writing to questions about youth violence. Ms. Gordon will host workshops February 6 & 13 to engage youth in process of crowdsourcing entries collected from the word boxes to compose full poems. The poems from the workshops will be showcased in April on MTA buses for 2016’s Poetry in Motion® program. The wordboxes were interacted with at the Music City Classic Basketball Tournament and at the MLK Youth Rally at Jefferson Street Baptist Church over Martin Luther King weekend, and is currently located at Downtown, North Branch, and Bordeaux branch libraries, Whites Creek, Hunters Lane, East, Hillwood, Pearl Cohn, Nashville School of the Arts, Hume-Fogg High Schools and at the Juvenile Court.