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A new season of Youth Spoken Word Leaders serving Boston,

Worcester & Lowell

began in January, as 15 teen leaders have been oriented into the program in 3 working groups. Schedule for youth hosted events will be released soon. For more information, contact

HISTORY & DESCRIPTION: Mass LEAP's Youth Spoken Word Leaders program seeks to support the development of youth not only as artists but also as organizers and teachers. We work alongside young people and provide them with opportunities to develop their leadership skills and sustain a thriving youth arts culture in the cities of Boston (4th year), Worcester (2nd year) and Lowell (first year, in partnership with FreeVerse!). The Mass Cultural Council has recently granted Mass LEAP a 3 year cycle of funding to produce this program, through their Youth Reach Initiative. 

Youth Spoken Word Leaders receive stipends to participate in the planning and development of an ongoing open mic, workshop & youth poetry slam series.  The Boston Youth Spoken Leaders was piloted as a partnership between organizers / mentors representing MassLEAP, Books of Hope, House Slam Haley House and If You Can Feel It You Can Speak It Open Mic Movement.

2021 Note: Due to the pandemic, all programming will be virtual from January through June 2021, which opens the possibility of young people serving in the program who aren't necessarily from that geographic area, though preference will be given to youth in live and/or attend school in Boston, Worcester and Lowell. 


The Youth Spoken Word Leaders Program is a unique, paid opportunity to:

a) Be mentored in; teaching artistry, event production, poetry, non-profit management and wellness by leading Boston as well as nationally recognized poets, teachers and organizers

b) Receive yearly stipend ($500, broken up into 4  payments) to manage a monthly youth workshop and open mic series in your City!!!

c) Responsibilities include; attendance, set-up and breakdown, promotion, outreach and event management, budget management and fundraising, writing, performing and being the keepers of safe space.

d) Have the opportunity to build organizational skills, while serving your peers who are looking for artistic opportunities!

Boston YSWL - Mic FLier.jpg

Sponsored in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council 

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