Slam Poetry project for Seniors? Don’t mind if we do!
Okay, so the Blank team might be a FEW years away from qualifying, but we’re already recruiting our relatives and sharpening our slam skills for what promises to be the highlight event of our retirement years: Everybody NOW‘s fabulous Gran Slam 2020.
Mortify your Mum or Dob in your Dad this Father’s Day, and get them to join in on all the fun of Gran Slam 2020, a series of FREE online Slam Poetry workshops for anyone in the exclusive 70+ club.
Participants from across Queensland will get to work with the one and only spoken word superstar Luka Lesson to learn the art of slam poetry. No experience necessary, just an internet connection and passion to give something new a go.
Executive Producer Kate Baggerson explains how the whole concept came to fruition.
“Gran Slam was something that we at Everybody NOW dreamt up as a project to amplify the voices of older Australians in fun, engaging and performative way,” she says.
“We loved that slam was about providing an accessible platform for all people to tell their story on their terms. We went looking for a partner to help bring the project to life and were big fans of care provider Feros Care and some of their creative initiatives and just loved their message to grow bold. They have come on board as the founding presenting partners and together we hope that this project can help smash a few sterotypes of aging and allow seniors to come together, to be creative, try something new and live their best lives.”
Gran Slam had its inaugural outing in 2019, and was such a success for all involved, they decided to run it again in 2020, Kate tells us.
“What still sticks with me from last year is how transformative it is for anyone, but especially older people, to really challenge themselves in driving deep into something new and then be amazed at their own capacity. Some people went into the workshops so nervous but came out the other side so confident and proud and seeing poetry is everything! We believe that everyone has a story to tell and it’s always a memorable moment when you see other people recognize that in themselves too, sometimes for the very first time and that is an important discovery to make.”
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s event has been moved online.
“Even as restrictions start to ease seniors will be the last to return to community life so projects like this as really important to stay connected, creative , and generate some joy for all those involved,” says Kate.
“We have two awesome lead poets who will facilitate writing and performance workshops via zoom and the everybody now producers are there for support along the way.”
Slam Poetry has seen a bit of a groundswell of support happening on the Gold Coast for the last few years. Kate believes wholly in its importance as an art form.
“I think slam is a super inclusive and accessible style of poetry that allows people a place to speak their truth,” she says. “I love that it’s full of passion, can bring to the fore important messages and the voices of marginalized communities. We hope that a few of our emerging elder voices might break into the local slam scene too and bring their wisdom and perspective through the power of Slam.”
If you know a sassy senior with something to say, then send them Everybody NOW’s way! But be quick there’s only a few spots left and registrations are closing soon.
IMAGE (C) Art-work Agency