Turning Poetry into Public Art

WRITTEN BY: intern extraordinaire

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The Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission (Metro Arts) announced the return of the nationally renowned Poetry in Motion® program in April, turning the words of youth poets into mobile public art on Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) vehicles across the county.

Throughout the month of April, the poetry of Nashville teenagers will be displayed on MTA vehicles to provide a voice for youth ridership as part of the national celebration to honor poetry in a distinctive location – public transit vehicles. Hannah Burchard, a graphic design student at Nossi College of Art, designed the custom posters displaying each poem. This project was part of #NossiAllAccess, a program students join to gain professional, creative experience before graduation.

Created in 1992 by the Poetry Society of America, Poetry in Motion® was designed to showcase classic and contemporary poetry in public transit vehicles. The program has appeared in more than 30 cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C., and made its debut on Nashville MTA vehicles in 2012.

“Turning poetry into public art is another example of our commission’s goal to make art and culture accessible to everyone in Nashville. It also provides a great outlet for our youth poets to share their voice in the community and to showcase their great work,” said Jennifer Cole, executive director of Metro Arts.

The MTA Youth Action Team, an Oasis Center-led group of high-school students who work to increase ridership on public transit, partnered with Metro Arts on a contest for youth poets, ages 13 to 17, to submit entries focusing on the theme “Where Are You Going?”

Poetry in Motion 2015 Winners:

Eboni Croney, 17, Nashville School of the Arts

Quincy Harris, 14, Hunters Lane High School

Andrew Pelham, 13, Meigs Academic Magnet Middle School

Aidan Sullivan, 17, Hume-Fogg Magnet High School

Taleya Turner, 15, Hillwood High School

More about Poetry in Motion, including all of the winning poems.
Artwork by Hannah Burchard

Text within this post was provided by Metro Arts.

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