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WHO WE ARE

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

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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.  

PARTNERS

  • Altman Foundation
  • Axe-Houghton Foundation
  • Banks-Baldwin Foundation
  • Barbara Forst Charitable Trust
  • The Bay and Paul Foundations
  • Birkhofer Family Charitable Fund
  • Clara & Kurt Hellmuth Foundation
  • Countess Moira Charitable Foundation
  • Dan Paul Foundation
  • Endeavor Foundation
  • Find Your Light Foundation
  • Harman Family Foundation
  • Heckscher Foundation for Children
  • Henry E. Niles Foundation
  • John N. Blackman Sr. Foundation
  • Laura B. Vogler Foundation
  • Lily Auchincloss Foundation
  • Marion E. Kentworthy-Sarah H. Swift Foundation
  • Metzger-Price Fund
  • Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation
  • New York Community Trust
  • The New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund
  • Nora Roberts Foundation
  • Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation
  • Prescott Fund for Children and Youth
  • Richard Davoud Donchian Foundation
  • Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation
  • Sills Family Foundation
  • Smart Family Foundation
  • Stavros Niarchos Foundation
  • NYC Council Member Fernando Cabrera, District 14, Bronx
  • NYC Council Member Costa Constantinides, District 22, Queens
  • NYC Council Member Vanessa Gibson, District 16, Bronx
  • NYC Council Member Antonio Reynoso, District 34, Brooklyn
  • NYC Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, District 10, Manhattan
  • NYC Council Member Jumaane Williams, District 45, Brooklyn
  • NYC Council Member Joseph Borelli, District 51, Staten Island
  • New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature
  • NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council Office of the Manhattan Borough President, Gale Brewer
  • National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
  • AB
  • Align
  • Amazon Literary Partnership
  • Assurant Foundation
  • BlackRock Charitable Fund
  • Colgate-Palmolive Company
  • Con Edison
  • Eileen Fisher
  • HBO
  • Investors Foundation
  • Kinder Morgan Foundation
  • Linklaters
  • M & T Charitable Foundation
  • Macy's Community Foundation
  • Massey Knakal Charitable Foundation
  • Maximus Charitable Foundation
  • MUFG Foundation
  • Neuberger Berman Foundation
  • Proskauer
  • PurePoint Financial
  • Pzena Investment Charitable Fund
  • TD Charitable Foundation
  • 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
  • PS/MS 37 Multiple Intelligence School
  • I.S. 126 Albert Shanker School for Visual & Performing Arts
  • Bronx Community High School
  • P.S. 315K School of Performing Arts
  • 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

TESTIMONIALS

  • Rachael Schefrin

    RACHAEL SCHEFRINTEACHING ARTIST

    "Through CWP, I am always investigating with my students the relationship between art forms and diverse ways of expression. Looking at multiple art forms enhances the students curiosity and skills, which results in a more thoughtful communicator."

  • Dale Anderson

    DALE ANDERSONTEACHING ARTIST

    "When I'm in a classroom, I strive to instill a sense of community ownership in my students. It's great to work with an organization that encourages this and helps TAs achieve a greater goal than just teaching basic art skills or passing a test."

  • Arlene Ramos

    ARLENE RAMOSPRINCIPAL P.S. 1, BROOKLYN

    “CWP allowed our second graders to experience creative writing about their communities and themselves. This really allowed them to critically think about the work around them both collaboratively and individually. Thank you for this opportunity!”

  • Mrs. Sferrazza

    MRS. SFERRAZZACLASSROOM TEACHER P.S. 220, QUEENS

    “I have seen first hand that even students who struggle with language and reading can master higher level poetic skills. The artists come to the school well prepared and excited to meet with the students."

  • Ms. Blanding

    MS. BLANDINGCLASSROOM TEACHER, TYWLS QUEENS

    “The most important thing my students have learned is that their voices matter. And I am becoming increasingly more comfortable with integrating creative writing into my curriculum. The teaching artist was phenomenal!”

  • Mr. Brancaccio

    MR. BRANCACCIOCLASSROOM TEACHER P.S. 17, QUEENS

    “I loved the way the artists integrated art and language in creative and engaging ways. This year was our best experience yet! The artists were very professional, prepared, and innovative in their use of activities and artwork.”

  • Ronald Chironna

    RONALD CHIRONNATEACHING ARTIST

    "In very important ways, my CWP experience has made me much more adaptable. CWP emphasizes that a TA has to have the skills to adapt to whatever may occur."

  • Emily Shu

    EMILY SHUPRINCIPAL, BEA

    “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

    PAMELLA ALLENTAP GRADUATE

    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.

  • Felipe Galindo

    FELIPE GALINDOTEACHING ARTIST

    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.

  • Lucy Friedman

    LUCY FRIEDMANPRESIDENT, TASC

    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

    TERRI GREYPRINCIPAL, BHSWCA

    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.

GET INVOLVED

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.

  • VOLUNTEER VOLUNTEER

    Volunteer, sponsor or partner with CWP! Join the dialog, attend an event, or let us tailor opportunities to participate.

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