The Word On... was a pilot project aimed at promoting the voices of young people aged 14-16 living in areas of rural isolation in West Somerset.
The project was set up in 2011 to enable young people to connect with, and be inspired by, professional performance artists. Participants were asked to tell their ‘story’ through a number of spoken word styles: eg street poetry, hip hop theatre or live literature.
Taking place at The EYE, Minehead's brand new youth centre and skate park, over October 2010 half-term, the project was supported by Give it a Go, a Somerset County Council's extended schools initiative.
Professional performance poets and Slam Champs, Maxwell Golden and Liv Torc spent the week working with six young people from the Minehead area, of all ages and abilities. All those who took part experienced a range of practical and creative workshop exercises, aimed at building writing and performing skills, along with confidence and group working. All the young people involved were encouraged to experiment with performance poetry and hip-hop, to take part in practical and written exercises and to prepare at least one original piece for performance and filming.
The participants then took part in a final showcase in front of family, friends and project partners. Their final pieces were filmed for You Tube and examples of which can be seen below.
The success of the project and the obvious impact it made on the creative lives of the particpants has spurned a new poetry / hip hop project entitled 'Balistic Lips', which will be starting later in the Summer 2011.
"I like rapping and beat boxing and writing my own poetry. "
Bertie, The Word On participant