2019 ANNUAL REPORT

Letter from our leadership

Dear poets, friends, bibliophiles, partners & wordsmiths all,

Joining Mass Poetry in 2018 as its executive director felt like a homecoming to me. I mean this in the deepest sense. Poetry, for many years, has given me shelter. Poetry has offered me a space to dream. And now, I’m delighted to serve at the helm of such an exciting enterprise as Mass Poetry.

As we look back together at 2019, I’d like to share how much I’ve enjoyed working alongside all of you. Mass Poetry, at its core, is a giant experiment in collaboration, and it’s you–our poets, students, teachers, community partners, and donors–that help us bring poetry, day in and day out, to thousands of people, young and old, across Massachusetts.

This past year, we grew our Poet-in-Residence program fivefold, launched a strategic planning process, hosted poetry residencies with the Museum of Fine Arts and the Institute of Contemporary Art, laid plans to become an arts-partner-in-residence at GrubStreet’s Center for Creative Writing, and so much more.

We look forward to working with you all for years to come. And thank you for your unflagging support!

 

 


Daniel Signature.pngDaniel Signature.png

  

Daniel Johnson
Executive Director

 

 


Nicco SignaturepngNicco Signaturepng

   

Nicco Mele
Co-Founder & Chair


MEET OUR TEAM

 

 


Erica Charis-Molling, Daniel Johnson, and Isaiah Frisbie outside Mass Poetry’s offices at 15 Channel Center St.Erica Charis-Molling, Daniel Johnson, and Isaiah Frisbie outside Mass Poetry’s offices at 15 Channel Center St.

Erica Charis-Molling, Daniel Johnson, and Isaiah Frisbie outside Mass Poetry’s offices at 15 Channel Center St.

 

Staff

Daniel Johnson, Executive Director
Erica Charis-Molling, Education Director
Isaiah Frisbie, AmeriCorps VISTA Events and Communications Coordinator Sara Siegel, Outgoing Program Director

Board of Directors

Michael Ansara, Co-Founder
Nicco Mele, Co-Founder, Chair
January O’Neil
Heather Coughlin
Donna Glick
Amy Gorin
Gregg LeStage
Liesel Simmons

Interns

Owen Elphick
Sam Kiss
Lip Manegio
Dana Alsamsam
Emily Duggan
Claire Laine


2019 BY THE NUMBERS

Mission

Mass Poetry believes that words matter. We support poets and poetry in Massachusetts, help to broaden the audience of poetry readers, bring poetry to readers of all ages, and transform people’s lives through inspiring verse.

 

2862

 

# of students we reached with our in-school poetry programs & residencies

   

6

 

# of blackout poetry posters that we displayed across Greater Boston garnering thousands of views

   

440

 

# of museum visitors who dropped in on our poetry residencies at the MFA & ICA

   

46

 

# of teachers who attended Mass Poetry professional development seminars

   

4809

 

# of total audience members we reached across all of our programs

 


key initatives in 2019

Student Day of Poetry

 

 


Poet-educator Princess Moon teaching at Thayer AcademyPoet-educator Princess Moon teaching at Thayer Academy

Poet-educator Princess Moon teaching at Thayer Academy

Our Student Day of Poetry delivers dozens of talented, trained poets into Massachusetts schools to lead generative writing workshops with middle and high school students. Following a recent Student Day of Poetry, 70% of students reported an increased interest in reading and writing poetry.

Poet-in-Residence Program

 

 


Poet-in-Residence Regie GibsonPoet-in-Residence Regie Gibson

Poet-in-Residence Regie Gibson

Our Poet-in-Residence program places a veteran poet educator directly into a school for a long–term residency, whether a semester or an entire school year. In 2019, we expanded this transformative program fivefold and partnered with these area schools: New Mission High School, Edward M. Kennedy School for Health Careers, Burlington High School, Brookline High School, and Berwick Academy.

“[My students] are more confident with their work. There is more willingness to present work out loud. [The poet] was able to connect with students, demonstrate what he was moving them towards, and break down the steps of writing and performing a poem. It was incredible.”

— ELA teacher Shannon Janovitz, Burlington High School

Re-vision: A Collection of Blackout Poetry

 

 


Blackout poetry signBlackout poetry sign

“Blackout poetry challenges me to find the hidden poem…. [My artwork] highlights the need for just compensation, fair pay, and living wages as a basic right.”

— Catherine Fahey, “Living Wage”

In Spring 2019, Mass Poetry exhibited “Re-Vision: A Collection of Blackout Poetry” on Soofa’s digital kiosks across Greater Boston, garnering thousands of views. The project, a collaboration with the Poetry Coalition, asked community members to send us their protest-themed artwork in the form of erasures of the US Constitution and other political documents.

Museum Residencies at the MFA & ICA

 

 


Poet-educator Jamele Adams with two participants in the ICA Gallery ResidencyPoet-educator Jamele Adams with two participants in the ICA Gallery Residency

Poet-educator Jamele Adams with two participants in the ICA Gallery Residency

Following a series of writing workshops at the MFA in Fall 2018, Mass Poetry hosted three workshops in collaboration with the Institute of Contemporary Art, in Fall 2019. Poet-educators Jamele Adams, Martha Collins, Enzo Silon Surin, and Oliver de la Paz led workshops that focused on the 2019 exhibition When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art. These workshops included group discussion, one-on-ones with pieces from the exhibition, and time to write their own poetry in response to art on display.


Special Thanks and Finances

2019 Fiscal year: January 1, 2019–December 31, 2019

 

 


Mass Poetry's Expenses FY 2019-2020 = $216,902; 80% Programs, 2% Fundraising, 18% AdminMass Poetry's Expenses FY 2019-2020 = $216,902; 80% Programs, 2% Fundraising, 18% Admin

 

 


Mass Poetry's Revenue FY 2019-2020 $197,496; 60% Gifts & Grants, 10% Events, 40% Program RevenueMass Poetry's Revenue FY 2019-2020 $197,496; 60% Gifts & Grants, 10% Events, 40% Program Revenue

Writing Mass Poetry’s Future

For the past 12 months, we’ve been working hard to complete a new strategic plan to help us chart our course over the next several years.

 

 


Captive audience during reading at the Massachusetts Poetry FestivalCaptive audience during reading at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival

We’re excited to share that we’re now laying plans to re-launch the Massachusetts Poetry Festival in 2021, kick off our new role as arts-partner-in-residence at GrubStreet’s Center for Creative Writing in coming months, expand our Poet-in-Residence program to more schools across Massachusetts, and more. Thank you for your steadfast support and partnership.

“I bow my head to the hard work of hope.
I let it place its dull and heavy hand upon my neck. I submit to its dour blessing. I give up. I begin
its thankless, necessary pilgrimage.”

— “Hard Work,” Kathleen Aguero

If you’re interested in lending support, partnering, or participating in our events and programs, please reach out to [email protected].

Mass Poetry
15 Channel Center St.
Boston, MA 02210

617-402-0812

Reach out on social media!
Facebook: facebook.com/masspoetry
Instagram: @masspoetry
Twitter: @masspoetry
YouTube: youtube.com/masspoetrychannel


Thank you to our institutional funders, partners, and WBUR, our official media partner!

 

 

 


Logos for edvestors, Boston Cultural Council, AmeriCorps, and Mass Cultural CouncilLogos for edvestors, Boston Cultural Council, AmeriCorps, and Mass Cultural Council

 

 


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