Chewstick Poetry Team Heading To Philadelphia

July 15, 2014

Seven young people from the The Chewstick Foundation’s Break The Chains Youth Poetry and Spoken Word Program are setting off to represent Bermuda at the International Brave New Voices Poetry and Spoken Word Festival in Philadelphia.

After months of reaching out for community support and taking part in intensive fundraising, the group is departing on July 16, 2014 to officially represent Bermuda at the prestigious event, which has seen attendance by the likes of Mos Def, Russell Simmons, Common, Saul Williams, and many more.

A spokesperson said, “The Chewstick Foundation’s Administrator Deidra-Lee Bean, Education Coordinator Yesha Townsend, and Matthew Johnston will steward Marquedelle Rodriguez [18], Dascha Choudhury [16], Hannah Smith [16], Ashanti Stovell [17], Rakaya Stovell [15], Treasure Tannock [17], and Bryn Thomas [18] at the Brave New Voices Festival for the opportunity to connect with a global community of young poets from around the world.

“The Chewstick Foundation hosted a series of fundraising activities to raise the necessary funds to make this dream a reality, including several fundraising performances featuring program participants alongside poet luminary Tiffany Paynter, Break The Chains Education Director Yesha Townsend, and assistant Matthew Johnston.

“Still, there was a shortfall that was graciously filled through a generous donation from Marshallworx, along with several smaller donations that literally saved the day.

“The Brave New Voices Festival is an opportunity with a tremendous focus on the voice of the youth. Break The Chains’ participation is a chance to represent Bermuda internationally while providing an opportunity for growth and development for this group of Bermuda teens.

“The public is invited to see the group off at the airport on July 16; their U.S. Airways flight leaves at 2.30pm and they will be gathering at 12.30pm to go through the gates. They’ll return at 1.30pm on July 21, and the community is also welcome to greet them upon their return.

“The community can support this year-round program by inviting the group to perform at local events and taking notice of their future projects. For further information on this and additional Chewstick Foundation programs, call their office at 292-2439, email or visit online.”

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