My parents are both creative writers, so it's not surprising that I made up my first poem at the age of 3 when we went to visit my father who was teaching in Illinois while my mother and I were living in St. Louis.
"i like your white flowers, i like your trees
but sorry state i don't like you, i like St. Louis."
Sophisticated? No. Creative for a 3 year old? Yes!
In the subsequent 34 years I've continued to pursue my own creativity through creative writing, dance, theater, singing and visual art as I believe the arts are one of my strongest driving life forces (the other is justice). I believe we ALL have a creative voice to express our most innate fears, dreams, hopes and worries - and I've committed myself for over a decade to advance young folks access to the arts in a variety of ways so they may do so.
Right now, I am honored to serve as the Board Chair for an amazing nonprofit in New Orleans called Big Class. We provide creative writing and arts programming for young creatives in New Orleans - and we're trying to open a creative writing studio in 2016 to provide a safe, nurturing, community arts space for young folks to create, share, and express themselves in the heart of Central City.
We need your help to make this a reality... I'm going out on a limb & stretching back to my original creative practice to poetry to encourage you to give. I'll write & email you a personalized poem - $10 per line of poetry! So, for example, a $50 donation will get you a (minimum) 5-line poem dedicated to YOU (or anyone else you'd like me to write it for)... who knows, the creative process is emergent, you may be a muse and inspire much more than your donation!
Any donation over $100 will come with an accompanying drawing/collage/photograph/visual art piece (also created by me) that will be sent in the mail along with your poem! And your name will be included in the Founders Circle plaque at our new center too.
Also, since we are a 501(c)(3), you'll get a tax-break, which is nice.
... and in closing, here's a 2015 update to my circa 1980 poem...
"I still like white flowers and I still like trees.
But sorry, St Louis, I now love New Orleans."