Creativity is important, and fostering creativity is key to the continuation of art in its many forms. In our modern society where capitalism does not always place a high value on creative work, art forms like poetry, may not be placed as highly valued job positions. But poetry, an art form that can use written imagery, descriptive tone, as well as alliteration to tell a story can have a major impact on both the writer and the reader and should be cultivated. Stories that involve poets, as well as other artists being given recognition or support for their work, is always heartening to hear about.
The Academy of American Poets has received a $4.5 million dollar grant to fund it’s Poet’s Laureates Fellowship Program, from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The reason that this award is even more incredible is that it’s thought to be the largest of its kind from a philanthropic foundation for poetry. This grant will actually fund the entire Poet’s Laureates Fellowship Program for three years.
The program was piloted in 2019 and has provided over a million dollars to thirteen poets to further their reach.
The fellowships ranged from $50,000-100,000 each, which has allowed them to be placed in civic positions that allow them to help other poets, especially younger poets to cultivate their own artistic abilities.
President of The Mellon Foundation, Elizabeth Alexander, had this to say about the grant being awarded to The Academy of American Poets:
Across the country, local Poets Laureate and poetry organizations enhance creativity, channel civic understanding, and help communities grapple with important issues.” Alexander continued on to say, “Despite the recognition and esteem received from their communities, state and city, poets laureate often do not receive resources commensurate with their creative output and public service. I hope that Mellon’s support will remind us of the power of language and human exchange that poetry uniquely offers.”
The arts are such an important part of our culture that furthering the reach that thee artists have through whatever medium they choose is essential. Grants such as this one help further reach audiences especially younger ones that might find an interest in the arts through generations.