Boston University is the home of the Favorite Poem Project Administrative, Creative and Program Offices. For more than three years, BU has supported the project, providing office space, staff, and an annual administrative budget. In addition, BU sponsored the creation of this website and now supports its maintenance and expansion. The university has sponsored two major public Favorite Poem events in Boston, has facilitated project publicity and makes available many invaluable resources. Mugar Library at Boston University will be the repository for the raw footage and auxiliary material related to the making of the Favorite Poem Project videos. The Favorite Poem Project staff at Boston University includes project director Maggie Dietz, project coordinator and web manager Rosemarie Ellis and student interns and assistants.
Founded in 1910, the Poetry Society of America reaches more people with poetry on a daily basis than any other literary organization in America and exists today to raise the public's awareness of poetry, to deepen the understanding of it, and to encourage more people to read, listen to, and write poetry. The PSA is committed to its mission of placing poetry at the crossroads of American life. The PSA's programs and activities include: Poetry in Motion®, which places poems in buses and subways in cities across the United States; the PSA Reading Series, with more than 40 exceptional readings and events each year; Poetry in the Schools, bringing poets into public schools and community centers; the PSA Annual Awards Program, which recognizes and rewards excellence, innovation, and originality in poetry; and Crossroads, a biannual journal for PSA Members.
The Library of Congress and the Center for the Book have made many contributions of time and resources to the project.The Library adopted the project as part of its bicentennial celebration, celebrating its 200th anniversary in the year 2000. On April 3, 2000, the first fifty videos were presented to the Library of Congress as a permanent contribution to its Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature. The Favorite Poem Project is an official Library of Congress Center for the Book Partner for Reading Promotion.
KIDSNET was the project's partner for the 2001 "Strengthening Communities through the Art of Poetry" initiative, which distributed materials to 1,500 small and rural public libraries across the country. A national nonprofit resource on children's electronic media, KIDSNET is the preeminent authority on educational audio, video, radio and television for children from preschool through high school. The KIDSNET mission is to facilitate and promote the use of appropriate and valuable electronic media and related print resources for educators and other professionals who work with children in both formal and informal learning environments.
The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), was the project's primary administrative partner from the project's inception until October 1999. Robert Pinsky and the project staff are grateful to NEFA for its guidance as we began.
The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation awarded the project $10,000 for the creation of a DVD video sampler containing a selection of the project's video documentaries, those particularly suited for use as teaching tools, to be distributed to teachers attending the 2002 Dodge Poetry Festival. The mission of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation is to support and encourage those educational, cultural, social and environmental values that contribute to making our society more humane and our world more livable.
In June 2001, The Carnegie Corporation of New York awarded the project $200,000 for a "Strengthening Communities through the Art of Poetry" initiative. The program provided free materials - including a Favorite Poem video collection, the anthology Americans' Favorite Poems, and an event-planning guide - to 1,500 small and rural public libraries across the country. The funds also supported the project's pilot summer poetry institutes for K-12 educators, hosted at Boston University. The Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote "the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding." As a grantmaking foundation, the Corporation seeks to carry out Carnegie's vision of philanthropy, which he said should aim "to do real and permanent good in this world."
In March 2001, the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities awared $21,750 to the project to support its pilot summer poetry institutes at Boston University. For two consecutive summers, these institutes have brought together 50+ New England K-12 educators for a week of seminars, discussions and workshops investigating new and dynamic methods of bringing poetry to the classroom, and have provided participants with valuable teaching materials. Established in 1974, the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities is a programming and grant-making organization whose mission is to foster critical inquiry; promote understanding of our diverse cultural heritage; and provide forums for the citizens of our state to engage actively in thoughtful public discourse about matters of individual choice and collective responsibility.
The Tiny Tiger Foundation also gave a gift of $10,000 to support the first summer poetry institute in 2001.
In December 1998, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation awarded the project $150,000. Established in 1950, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation makes national grants in journalism, education and arts and culture. Its fourth program, community initiatives, is concentrated in 26 communities where the Knight brothers published newspapers, but the Foundation is wholly separate from and independent of those newspapers.
In November 1998, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation awarded the project $40,000 to implement the Favorite Poem Project on the West Coast.
In April 1998, the National Endowment for the Arts designated the Favorite Poem Project as one of its Millennium initiatives and awarded $500,000 to help support solicitation, outreach and archive production.
The Favorite Poem Project is also grateful for the support of individual and private donors, who have given gifts large and small since the project's inception.
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