We the undersigned do petition The Mayor of the city of Durham, North Carolina, the Honorable William V. “Bill” Bell to proclaim and the City Council of Durham, North Carolina to ratify said proclamation that October 10th, 2010 retroactively and April 10th henceforth and annually thereafter be recognized as Spoken Word Arts Day.
An academic definition of Spoken Word:
“Spoken Word is a category of performance art to encompass any new seriously developed genre or traditional form that is primarily word-based & is not exclusively Music, Theatre or Dance but may include collaborations with other non-word-based art genres or works created in collaboration with artists from non-word-based disciplines.”
An explanation of Spoken Word:
“Throughout human history, poetry and spoken word arts have been essential to the preservation and celebration of all aspect of the human condition. Every culture has had its poets and oral historians who have witnessed and recounted the intrigues, wanderings, beliefs, desires, tragedies and joys of the human condition” – “Stage A Poetry Slam” by Marc Kelly Smith (Creator of the Poetry Slam c. 1986 – “So What!”)
How do we celebrate? Do some Spoken Word or Spoken Word related activity. Throw an Open Mic or Slam, perform on the street, write a poem on the head of a nail with a hammer while volunteering, teach a kid how to express their anger by writing instead of fighting, spit Haiku’s while serving in a soup kitchen, listen to the story of someone and re-tell it, tell your baby a bed time story. Activism, Teaching and Advocacy is our instinct Spoken Word is how we relate it.
The once in a lifetime date of 10-10-10 was the Inaugural Spoken Word Arts Day. But, this is no once in a lifetime event. Our goal is for this observance of art and activism to become a nationally observed annual holiday. This year’s observance will be kicked off with a 24 hour roving open mic which will move from site to site as Spoken Word Artists perform their art while performing community service.
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