We will be taking 8 youth to Las Vegas, Nevada, USA to take part in the 22nd annual Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival. Participation at Brave New Voices advances our work by promoting and further developing the raw spoken word talent of our local youth by providing them with opportunities to expand their craft beyond the stage. This international exposure gives them a broader perspective on the benefits of spoken word poetry as opposed to a myopic view of the art form.
Locally our youth population faces poor conflict and anger management skills, low self-esteem, substance abuse, low parental support, clinical depression and suicidality. As such, spoken word poetry benefits of increased self-identification, expression of personality and optimal distinctiveness, directly address the local dearth of belongingness, financial stability, safety needs and esteem needs by promoting resiliency. This in turn cultivates a unique voice for personal growth and healing.
Participation at Brave New Voices continues to develop our local youth performance talents and civic responsibilities through live on-stage performances, interactive writing and performance workshop training, mentorship and civic engagements. This exposure has afforded them greater tools to positively impact the local spoken word sector. Additionally, these skills developed are transferred locally at national slams and through our outreach work with vulnerably youth in at-risk circumstances.
Cascadoo Caribbean New Voices International Festival of Spoken Word was influenced by my participation at Brave New Voices in 2008. Since our inaugural festival in 2013, we have featured Brave New Voices alumni between 2014-18. Our goal has always been to host a similar type slam featuring spoken word teams from the Caribbean. These poets would then be given an opportunity to represent the Caribbean at Brave New Voices; as currently, Trinidad and Tobago is the only Caribbean team represented.