The Fountain City Slam creates safe spaces to engage the next generation of leaders in the power of reading and writing. By fostering an environment that promotes creative healing, social-emotional skills, and positive behaviors, we challenge young creatives to find, develop, publicly present, and apply their voices as creators of social change. Ultimately, we hope to create a movement of young artists that leverage their talents to positively impact their community.
Founded in 2011 in Columbus, Georgia by award-winning spoken word/teaching artist, Jonathan S.E. Perkins, The Fountain City Slam, Inc. is a regional nonprofit presenter of Spoken Word performance, creative writing, education, and youth development programs. The Fountain City Slam offers literary arts education programs during the school day, in the after-school hours, on weekends and evenings, while also providing numerous opportunities for youth to be published and heard. Open to youth of all backgrounds. We use creative writing and the performing arts as a means of self expression and exploration. Students have experienced the benefits of this free auxiliary arts education in their intellectual, personal, and social development. Our curriculum fosters anti-bullying, anti-drugs, suicide prevention, crime prevention, and positive behaviors in the young people we work with. We provide space and spirit for fellowship among young writers across the Columbus, Georgia area.
We believe that writing empowers greater understanding of self and others and thereby encourages compassion and empathy in our society. These young people have received local, regional, and national accolades for their thought provoking original works. We have been awarded The Youth Speaks National Leadership Grant for the work these young people have been doing in the Columbus area. For three years, we have received the designation of “Best of Festival” at The Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival. The Fountain City Teen Poetry Slam was also a recipient of The Eco Latino Courier Community Service Award in recognition of our efforts. The group has performed at a number of local programs and events yearly.
By providing mentoring opportunities and real-life experience, we aim to redefine the roles young people play in today’s society. Our after school writing workshop offerings have continued to expand, having conducted bi-monthly workshops at Columbus High School, G.W. Carver High School, Rainey McCullers School of the Arts, Hardaway High School, and Eddy Middle School, as well as monthly youth open mics. We have brought in nationally renowned spoken word artists and writers to conduct community wide writing workshops for area teens at no charge. We have published many area young writers through our “fluent” online writing workshops and annual chapbook anthologies. We also take a group of youth to The Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival each summer. Every year, over 500 young poets and the nation’s leading artists convene in a different U.S. city for 4-5 days of arts education, community service, and civic engagement.
As a smaller nonprofit organization, we rely exclusively on grant funding and the generosity of the wonderful community we serve. Please consider making an end-of-the-year donation to assist us in shaping area young people into positive, productive leaders and drivers of change. The Fountain City Slam, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity. Contributions for the purposes of Fountain City Slam are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. This critical work for area teens is entirely dependent upon community support.
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