Six Miami-area teenagers traveled to New York City from April 25 to 30 to compete in the 9th Annual Brave New Voices Youth Poetry Slam Festival. The festival included participants from almost 40 cities from across the country

participating in workshops and readings with established poets and performers, open mikes, and the National Youth Poetry Slam itself, a competitive event. The Miami team, which includes a diverse range of some of South Florida's best young writers, was selected from participants in Tigertail's WordSpeak program.

The Miami teens were accompanied to New York by mentors Rashida Bartley, noted South Florida spoken word artist, and Raymond Dominguez, a.k.a. "Knowledge," writer, educator and founder of Write Side Poets. The teens include Carlos Diaz and Maxis Made, from Miami Senior High School; Gabriel De Los Reyes, from Coral Gables Senior High School; Diana Louissaint, from North Miami Senior High School; Troven Pearson, from Miami Jackson Senior High School; and Shameka Thomas, from William Turner Tech High School; with alternates Lawrence Gipson, from William Turner Tech, and Christy-Anne Durandisse, from Miami Senior High School.

WordSpeak is a series of forty free spoken and written word teen projects at five Miami Dade Public Libraries. Workshops for teens are given by Miami Dade and guest writers in a range of workshops including Writing for Cartoons, Song Writing and Getting What You Want to Say on Paper.

Partners and targeted support for the Tigertail WordSpeak program include City of Miami Beach Cultural Affairs Program Cultural Arts Council; Dade Community Foundation; Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council; Joseph H. and Florence A. Roblee Foundation; Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; Miami-Dade Public Library; Miami-Dade Public Schools; National Performance Network Community Fund and Network of Cultural Centers of Color (major contributors for the National Performance Network Community Fund come from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

January - May, 2006

Miami Dade Public Libraries

Brave New Voices 2006 locations in various New York City venues
Link to Brave New Voices website