INSIDEOUT LITERARY ARTS PROJECT

Rating: 5 stars   7 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Education

Location: 2111 Woodward Ave Suite 507 Detroit MI 48201 USA

Mission: InsideOut Literary Arts Project places professional creative writers as teachers and mentors in schools to engage K-12 students in the pleasure and power of poetry and literary self-expression. InsideOut uses innovative classroom techniques and celebrates students’ creativity by providing performance opportunities and publishing their work.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

As a poet-in-the-schools, a high school teacher of 35 years, a writer of 2 books on teaching writing, and a coordinator of writer/artist school visits, I value highly what InsideOut brings to the Detroit students. I donate yearly, buy the schools' anthologies to use in the schools where I work, and have just today watched two InsideOut writers in three classes (grades 3, 10, and 11, including a social studies class). Classroom teachers and students alike find the act of writing becomes genuinely engaging, as live and lively writers lead them through writing experiences that open their imaginations, develop their pleasure in language, and above all help them believe in themselves and in one another as individuals with the right to make their own artistic choices. Teachers see all these strengths can be transferred to the writing of expository, critical, and personal essays.Students who care about writing are more likely, also, to become reflective, appreciative readers--to "read as writers." Every child deserves the experiences offered by a strong writers-in-the-schools program like InsideOut.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

I'm especially impressed with the presence of young interns--their energy, enthusiasm, and generosity of spirit, and the special rapport they tend to have with younger students.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand the CityWide Poets after-school program; develop more training and sharing opportunities for the teaching artistS; create more interdisciplinary programs (especially important given the absence of art and music in many schools)

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

As a professional writer and former educator and business owner, I was impressed with the fire and commitment to the InsideOut Literary Arts Project displayed by the Founder and Executive Director, Terry Blackhawk. Her enthusiasm is contagious. Since then, I have become a donor to this critical project that can change children's lives as they discover their creative selves and speak out. I have read and been moved by the work of these children. I have met the artists who teach and give their deepest selves to keep this program alive and growing. Detroit needs such voices, such belief and such commitment to succeed.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I am honored to read and hear the voices of children in this program.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Hearing about the teaching, writing and change that such a program creates. Gives me hope.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Intelligent artists who create an environment for learning, exploration and creativity. They unloose the children's voices.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Extend the program to more metro Detroit schools and organizations. Extend learning opportunities to other children and adults. Create interdisciplinary writing activities. Work as a team with other organizations. Unleash the voices of the Detroit area.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I was a writer-in-residence for InsideOut. It was a wonderful experience, broadening the depth of my experience with young readers/writers. In addition, the children are so eager to embrace the written word. I look forward to working with InsideOut in the future. Kudos to Dr. Blackhawk and the entire staff!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

enthusiastic, dedicated professionals from all walks of life.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-5-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I'm on the faculty of a state university, and became aware of Inside Out through alumni work. I am astonished at what Inside Out does, and wish that all of my incoming freshmen could've had the kind of experience that Inside Out provides. The program (1) teaches students to love words, ideas, and creative expression by encouraging them to work and play with words, ideas, and images (rather than merely receive words and images passively), and (2) by publishing their work, teaches students that their thoughts are important and worthy of consideration, and that they have a contribution to make to their community, to literature, and to society as a whole. Inside Out, then, jumpstarts both intellectual and civic engagement. Three cheers!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

encountering amazing written work by young writers.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase its scope (bring the program to more schools), and try to partner it with institutions of higher education, so that the young writers have a continuing path to success.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the surprisingly sophisticated work produced by the students. The writers involved with Inside Out not only teach kids to write; they teach them to write well.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Talented, friendly, and dedicated.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

greatly increase literacy in its state and region by putting writers into schools and getting kids excited about words and ideas; increase civic engagement by making kids into thinkers and doers.

Ways to make it better...

I was one of the writers Inside Out put into the schools to work with kids. That must be a fantastic experience!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

people who don't understand that engagement with the arts empowers young people and builds character, and people who think that poetry is frivolous (rather than understanding that working with words and ideas is vital, basic, and cost-effective).

One thing I'd also say is that...

I wish this program was duplicated in every state in our country. It would improve literacy and civic engagement.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

The creativity and quality shining through the poems written by students in the Inside Out program are a true inspiration to writers of all ages. Here is an idea that really works. Congratulations to all who participate in this fruitful effort.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

reading the poems written by students.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

outstanding.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

be in more schools and reach more writers.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I truly love this organization, the instructors who help teach students poetry and the professions who sometimes take time out to do a workshop with the students. I have been a member for this organization. I was embarrassed when I joined because I was the only freshman. Fortunately throughout time becoming a poet, your writing technique and stage presence gets stronger throughout the years. I am currently a nursing major at Eastern Michigan University. Although I don't perform poetry as much as I use to I feel no other poetry organization is better than InsideOut Citywide Poets. Maybe one year I will join the poetry society here. I continue to write when I can and have take a creative writing course and this semester Literature 102 where we evaluate different pieces of poetry throughout time. Ever since InsideOut, I don't think I would ever stop writing poetry. Performing is a bit more of a challenge but I learned a lot of techniques to get me prepared to perform in front of an audience. I love this organization and I hope that they will continue for many years to come so that children and teens have a chance to be apart of something unique and express their talent, feelings, creativity and poetry.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

helping me become a better writer and ultimately a better poet.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

have a mentor go out to the school and promote what the InsideOut Literary Arts project is.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Reading my poem on air at the WDET radio station.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Exciting, fun, and loved poetry.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

create snacks in the afterschool sessions, and get the students their own personal poetry journal.

Ways to make it better...

I had snaks after school because students usually want to go home and eat.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

non because I've seen the shyest students perform on stage.

One thing I'd also say is that...

the InsideOut Literary Arts Project is a positive organization.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Last summer I attended a 2-day writing seminar for educators, A Neon Color Calls Me. We did some great writing for such a brief time period! Not only that, but the writing was integrated with fine arts, which I learned was called Ekphrastic Poetry. As an educator, I was thrilled to find professional development that also served my personal development as a writer. Plus, I got some great lessons to use with my students.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the Neon Color Calls Me writing seminar

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

writing Ekphrastic Poetry. I loved integrating the arts with writing, and I especially loved doing it at the DIA.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

extremely knowledgeable and helpful; very inspirational.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

unlock so much potential with student writers across the metro Detroit area! Field trips to the DIA for everyone! Compilations of student writings for publication! Notebooks for every student!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-11-01

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