The 2 Cents Movement selects new poets and stimulates the development of young people


A spoken word organization, the 2 Cents movement has brought in a new team of talented poets in their effort to continue their tradition of inspiring and honing new talent and adding creative new voices to the chorus of those representing the form of ‘art.

The non-profit organization has developed programs focused on community outreach and youth and artist development since 2012 and has become the region’s leading youth arts outreach organization.

Many of its members are known for their moving spoken word performances that go to the heart of social issues affecting Caribbean society.

Artistic director, spoken word artist, author and national slam poetry champion Derron Sandy shared with Loop News the selection process and the organization’s goals.

The Mouvement 2 Cents welcomed 35 candidates from its first call for applications in October 2021, of which 15 were shortlisted. A two-stage interview process including individual and group interviews led to the selection of the final ten. Sandy explained that shortlisted contestants were challenged to show off their performing prowess, including pitching a poem for an imaginary client and performing lesson plans to present to a young audience. , whose members were called as spectators.

The team of four senior and six junior poets will immerse themselves in the community development and artistic work of the organization over the next two years.

The senior team consists of several National Poetry Slam semi-finalists Javaughn Forde; UWI Theater Arts Graduate and Arts Educator Dominica Friday; two-time National Poetry Slam finalist and National Youth Award winner Shimiah Lewis; and French and Spanish graduate and UWe Speak organizer Ronaldo Mohammad.

Junior team members are: contest winner Entoto Keys and Bocas Lit Fest 2019 Raise the Bar team captain Michael Henry; USC elementary school student and passionate about parenting Renesa John; sixth-grade student and advocate for arts education Saida Joseph; sixth-grade student and local and regional spoken word champion Gabrielle Murray; sixth grade student and youth advocate Jayden Philippe;and criminology student and advocate for marginalized people Ashley Warwick.

The team members were made to sign a contract containing a strict code of conduct which includes fundamental principles such as honesty, integrity, legality and objectivity in decision-making which govern the behavior of team members and seek to protect the values ​​of the organization.

Finalists will work directly with high school students as part of the organization’s youth outreach initiatives, namely its upcoming Future Authors Club.

Sandy described the club as “a curriculum-based after-school program [drawn from] our new watchwords: “respect, exchange, facilitate change”.

The students involved will learn spoken word poetry while receiving hands-on artistic training that would lead to “what we hope for the future of writing and performance.”

Sandy spoke of the role of the poet as more than that of creator and emphasized the importance of honing “the poet’s responsibility as a listener for the exchange of ideas” in addition to artistic production.

In addition to the Future Authors program, the 2 Cent Movement has other outreach plans in the works in which poets will also be engaged.

“We have some ideas for how we’re going to use art to continue to be a hub for an exchange of ideas,” Sandy shared.

A new project, Poems for People, will take poets to the streets to engage directly with and pay homage to ordinary citizens. “We want poets to write odes that recognize people in the community,” he said.

“One of the roles of the poet is to reflect society in that there has to be an acknowledgment of the things that people do to make the world a better place,” Sandy continued. “It’s easy to take advantage of negative things [but] poetry exists on a staff; it’s not just about crying out for change. We want to highlight positive things.

The 2 Cent Movement also spearheads free monthly writing series open to participants of all ages, offering the opportunity to learn poetry, among other projects still in development.

Sandy described the four main areas of development that guide the organization’s mandate: cultural, economic, social and youth.

He discussed the importance, not only of implementing initiatives that develop artistic growth, but of showing how artistic creation, poetry in particular, can be taken seriously and seen as a viable skill.

Sandy said that policymakers and politicians often bring up the idea of ​​diversification and, in this context, questions about what the role of the full-time poet would look like in the future and whether or not art should full time is something current students can aspire to. relevant to the discussion.

“The individual poet can generate income, not just as a member of the organization, but independently,” he said, emphasizing the value of exploiting the art form in an economic sense.

Sandy said the accessibility of the art form inspires many young people to participate in their programs, which positions the organization to positively impact the lives of young people.

“Once we get young people into space, we automatically have a responsibility…to teach them how to use the power that comes with the art form responsibly,” he shared. “When you start developing the youth, you develop the economy.”

Sandy affirmed the value of the organization’s programs which is clearly seen in their reach and positive impact, much of which he has observed first hand.

“Once we continue to engage with artists…we will be able to fulfill our mandate as a major tool in youth development and contribute to a better Trinidad and Tobago.”

Visit the 2 Cent Movement official site, Facebook and instagram pages for updates on their programs and how you can get involved in their work, and check out Derron Sandy’s official site, instagram and Youtube pages.


About Author

Comments are closed.