« on: February 23, 2012, 01:27:52 PM »
1. "The mission of Poetry Slam Incorporated (PSI) is to promote the performance and creation of poetry while cultivating literary activities and spoken word events in order to build audience participation, stimulate creativity, awaken minds, foster education, inspire mentoring, encourage artistic statement and engage communities worldwide in the revelry of language."
How do you plan to help this organization grow and accomplish this mission? Please be specific.
I think before I would rush into implementing various ideas and personal projects it would be important to take a organizational inventory. As we are currently running for entrance into the executive council the EC has been working on a variety of different items. Rather than break down everything and start from scratch I think it would be important to take stock of where we are, a state of the EC so to speak. This is especially important with the large turnover, we may need to take some time and really see what projects are worth keeping, what projects may need to be scrapped, and what project need to be immediately implemented. For example, different members of the EC have stated that they have begun the process of a PSI youtube page, one of my goals is to increase our presence online, so it would behoove me to see what kind of work and progress has already been made towards that goal, so I am not replicating work that has already been done. So specifically, the first step would have to be an assessment of where we are, before we can find the best path forward.
2. What experience do you have with non-profit organizations - as an employee, as a volunteer, as a board member? I am especially interested in hearing about experience working with non-profit ARTS organizations, but I do think that all of your professional experience is relevant.
Besides my volunteer work with PSI which I will detail later on, I have had extensive experience working with nonprofit organizations. I have worked as a volunteer for various community based groups such as AmeriCorps, I was an organizer for the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs, I held the office of President, Parliamentarian and Sgt. At arms for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity (which is largely a service based organization) I coordinated their Voteless People is a Hopeless People Campaign, the Go to High School go to College project, as well as a sex awareness course with teens. I was also volunteer coordinator for North Lansing for Organize for America, as well as a teen organizer for the Boys and Girls Club, where I organized community based service projects.
3. How many hours a week do you have available to dedicate to PSI? And what is your typical availability (days/evenings/weekends)?
My availability changes form semester to semester but I could easily find 20+ hours. From talking with a variety of current EC member a t of the day to day activities are handled online, so we are essentially talking about reorganizing web priorities to make sure the business of PSI gets done. There is no reason that I could not have an active presence on a daily basis.
4. What would you most like to see changed about PSI? What would you most like to see preserved?
I would like to see the core beliefs and mission statement of PSI preserved. If there are places where we need to adapt to meet an increasingly different type of audience, poet, judge, event, I see no problem with it as long as it doesn’t interfere with the core mission of PSI. This question is a bit hard to give a direct answer to , because as we potentially electing many new EC members. These member are going to come with a variety of ideas, and experiences, many of which will revolve around this question of “change”. So it may be a bit hard to go into specifics until we reach a point where these specific agendas and ideas are put forth. But as I stated in my bid, I believe in measured growth, growth that must occur for a organization to adapt and evolve so it doesn’t become obsolete, but I don’t believe in change for the sake of change. And I believe that all ideas must be properly vetted before implementation.
5. Do you believe that the concept of legacy is important to PSi? If not, why not? If so, how would you see that manifested?
The strongest organizations have a definitive and direct link to their past. If we are unable or unwilling to rely on the advice of those who have been here then we’re doomed to repeat mistakes and waste time, effort and manpower. There is a wide berth of experience in our community and to me those who have paid their dues have earned the right for their voice to be heard. Does that mean we become stagnant? No, not at all, it means to me that the time, effort, sweat and tears that others have put in has to be honored, and that time should be valued as any other type of currency.
In recent years, concerns have been raised about the safety of the female members of our community while attending (and traveling to/from) events. What actions have you taken (or policies have you enacted) at your home venue to address these issues? What actions do you plan to take/ suggest on the national level to address this growing concern?
On a national level , as we continue to grow it may be worth having a forum at national events that discusses these issues. I think raising the awareness if the community is priority one, we have many new poets joining on a yearly basis, it would behoove us to educate them on some of these issues, with awareness and education, we start to proactively deal with the issue as opposed to being reactive. I am also aware of my own male privilege concerning this issue, so I think it would be extremely important to make sure that any type of educatory process is spearheaded by those members of the community it would affect the most. Otherwise we could conceivable end up mirroring the recent travesty in congress where they had a meeting on birth control, had an all male panel, and no women testified.
Have you previously volunteered for PSI? If yes, in what capacity? If no, why not? If you are not elected to the EC, (how) will you continue to work for the ideas/ platform you are running on? Be specific. It would be more telling if you described actions you'd be willing to take as non-EC members than philosophies.
Yes, I have volunteered for PSI in the past. I’ve counted door and CD money, carried bout boxes, taken pictures for DVD covers, co-hosted a "How to" Head to Head Haiku session with Taz at WOW, MC’ed & bout managed at IWPS, I have attempted to grow poetry locally by founding and hosting the Spitfire Poetry Slam in East Lansing, hosting the Spartan Spitfire Invitational Slam, and I organized and hosted the 2010 Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam.If not elected, I still plan on putting int he work of poetry, locally as well as nationally. Poetry is an art form that not only use artistically but academically as well. That being said a few specifics, as they relate to my goals.
MY three goals are
1. Stronger internet presence- if not elected I plan on asking those who think this is an important goal what kind of help do thy need. We can increase our net visibility through a variety of social platforms, I would love to volunteer to be on a committee that explores these options. For example you could have various NPS twitter tags, one of which could be a haiku a day, you could have a NPS pinterest page, that tags found poems, videos, poets, images at slam, anything poetry related that helps to grow the art form.
2. An easily accessed database of ideas that have worked and ideas that have failed as well as the reasons for both (so we are not constantly trying to review and rehash ideas that have failed)- if not elected I would like to see if there is anyone on the board who would agree that this is an important goal. Because this goal is something that really only works if those in power find it to be useful. If they did, I believe it would be a good start to interview past EC members, Past Slammasters, and volunteers who have been integral to the formation of slam to start to collect this information.
3. Help prepare SLAM for a new generation of performers, poets, and audiences that is increasingly plugged in and viral- if not elected this is something that could still be worked on. I would like to start talking about a NPS smart phone app, viral marketing campaigns, a tumbler page, and other ways that start to tap into the plugged in, online nature of our society.
a link to my bid for more information -http://www.poetryslam.com/forum/index.php?topic=7568.msg77113#msg77113