The voice of a community dedicated to fundamentally changing the lives of kids through art.


Community-Word Project, originally called Community-Poem Project, began as part of the Nomadic Pictures Documentary "No Time to be a Child," broadcast on PBS in 1995. The Ford and MacArthur Foundation funded documentary included a collaborative poem that came out of poetry workshops that CWP Executive Director and Founder Michele Kotler ran for at-risk kids in Chicago.

Community-Word Project was officially founded in 1997 with the help of an Echoing Green Fellowship. Sixteen years later CWP has inspired over 18,000 New York City kids to be agents of change for themselves and their communities.  


  • Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.
  • Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation
  • Axe-Houghton Foundation
  • The Bay and Paul Foundations
  • The Blessing Way Foundation
  • The Richard Davoud Donchian Foundation
  • Vivian Donnelley Charitable Trust
  • Barbara Forst Charitable Trust
  • Harman Family Foundation
  • Clara & Kurt Hellmuth Foundation, Inc.
  • Heckscher Foundation for Children
  • Metzger-Price Fund, Inc.
  • Henry E. Niles Foundation, Inc.
  • The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation
  • Sills Family Foundation
  • Seth Sprague Educational & Charitable Foundation
  • May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust
  • The Laura B. Vogler Foundation Inc.
  • Nora Roberts Foundation
  • John N. Blackman, Sr. Foundation
  • The Wiley Fund
  • The Prescott Fund for Children & Youth, Inc.
  • The Countess Moira Charitable Foundation
  • The John and Gwen Smart Foundation
  • Harry Chapin Foundation
  • The New York Community Trust
  • New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature
  • New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council
  • Office of the Manhattan Borough President
  • NYC Councilmember Antonio Reynoso, District 34, Brooklyn
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • NYC Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, District 10, Manhattan
  • NYC Councilmember Costa Constantinides, District 22, Queens
  • NYC Councilmember Vanessa Gibson, District 16, Bronx
  • NYC Councilmember Fernando Cabrera, District 14, Bronx
  • Amazon Literary Partnership
  • Becker, Glynn, Muffly, Chassin & Hosinski LLP
  • BlackRock Charitable Fund
  • Bonhams
  • Con Edison
  • HBO
  • Kinder Morgan Foundation
  • Linklaters
  • Massey Knakal Charitable Foundation
  • Macy's Foundation
  • New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund
  • Archegos Capital Management LLC
  • Pzena Investment Charitable Fund
  • MAXIMUS Charitable Foundation
  • Red Jacket Orchards
  • Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
  • TD Charitable Foundation
  • TD Bank, through the TD Charitable Foundation
  • Jones Lang Lasalle Americas
  • Ameritas Life Insurance
  • Summit Financial Printing
  • Cooley LLP
  • Broadway Stages
  • MUFG Foundation
  • Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
  • M&T Charitable Foundation
  • TPG Creative Capital
  • Investors Foundation
  • Colgate-Palmolive Company
  • Time Warner
  • New York City Arts in Education Roundtable
  • Children of Promise, NYC
  • Drew University
  • Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
  • Partnership for After School Education
  • Voices Unbroken
  • Wingspan Arts
  • Committee for Hispanic Children and Families
  • The Young Women's Leadership Network
  • Echoing Green
  • Writers in the Schools Alliance
  • Ellen Weldon Design
  • Poets House
  • The Breslin
  • RevSquare
  • Super Moms Collective
  • NYC Landmarks50 Alliance
  • Zeze Flowers
  • Sweet Loren's
  • Louro
  • Murray's Cheese
  • Apropo Chocolates
  • Grandaisy Bakery
  • Todd Street Productions
  • Lagunitas
  • Made From Scratch
  • Pernod Ricard
  • Canon
  • World's Best Cheeses
  • Freedom for All
  • Exit9 Gift Emporium
  • Jimmy's No. 43
  • P.S./M.S. 279 Captain Manuel Rivera, Jr.
  • Bronx High School for Writing and Communication Arts
  • P.S. 132 Juan Pablo Duarte
  • P.S. 84 Jose de Diego Magnet School for the Visual Arts and Sciences
  • Bronx Academy of Health Careers
  • The Young Women’s Leadership School, Queens
  • Bronx Envision Academy
  • P.S. 316 Elijah Stroud
  • P.S. 17 Henry David Thoreau
  • New Directions Secondary School, Bronx
  • Long Island City High School
  • P.S. 47
  • PS/MS 37 Multiple Intelligence School
  • I.S. 126 Albert Shanker School for Visual & Performing Arts
  • Bronx Community High School
  • John Bowne High School
  • C.S. 111Q Jacob Blackwell
  • P.S. 220 Edward Mandel
  • I.S. 75
  • P.S. 1 The Bergen Elementary School
  • J.H.S. 098 Herman Ridder
  • PS 85 Judge Charles J. Vallone School
  • New York Public Library


  • Emily Shu


    “All our students engage with Community-Word Project freshman year, so it builds a strong foundation for our school community. The focus on students' voices being important is key.”

  • Pamella Allen


    TAP prepared me to adapt to all kinds of collaborative teaching, as well as gave me the tools to handle challenging situations within the public school system.

  • Alessandra Balzar


    Community-Word Project encourages literacy through the arts, helping kids with their education and sparking a life-long love of learning and the written word.

  • Felipe Galindo


    CWP's poetry and murals projects let me work with kids of diverse backgrounds, ages and nationalities and share my passion for drawing and painting.

  • Micaela Blei


    It's clear CWP is about collaboration: trainees do tons of it! We also had sessions on job-hunting, classroom management and integrating art forms.

  • Chad Frisbie


    With my students I return to the question, "What can poetry do?" I love how that forces me to rethink my craft while I teach the next generation of creative thinkers.

  • Lucy Friedman


    CWP inspires kids to dream, create, and share. It gives them a voice filled with pride. I am hopeful that all kids not only become literate, but also enjoy literacy.

  • Terri Grey


    Our work with CWP helped with our Quality Review. It was used as evidence to prove we were doing what we said we were going to do.


Help us fundamentally change the lives of NYC kids.

  • Donate Donate

    Inspire lifelong learners by supporting arts education. Fundamentally change the lives of underserved kids.

  • Teach Teach

    Train and work as a teaching artist and expand your passion for literacy and the arts into underserved classrooms.


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