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Westchester County Poet Laureate program

Grant to a New York Poet in Eligible Areas to Conduct
Artistic Activities that Benefit the Local Community

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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ArtsWestchester (ArtsW)

Deadline Date:

11/20/20 11:59 PM


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Grant to a New York artist in eligible areas to conduct artistic activities that benefit the local community. Funding is intended to support an individual poet who will promote community engagement with poetry by developing and leading activities that inspire poetry writing and performances among all age groups while stimulating dialogue between local poets, cultural organizations, and community institutions. Eligible candidates for Poet Laureate reside in Westchester County.

The laureate will develop and lead their own activities, but possible events could include writing workshops or readings at schools (pending District approval) or community centers. Preferably the Poet Laureate would engage the public through a project-based activity that the Laureate candidate proposes and enacts. The Laureate would be encouraged to work with Westchester’s Youth Poet Laureate. Ultimately the Laureate should be an ambassador for poetry by spreading the “word.”

The laureate is expected to provide:

  • A minimum of two Public Readings Each Year: The laureate will give a public reading of their work during each year of their tenure. The laureate will also present an original poem during each year of their tenure at a County event, such as the 9/11 Memorial ceremony.
  • Three Community Events Each Year: The laureate will provide opportunities for community members to write and/or share their own poems.

Selection criteria include:

  • Literary and artistic merit as evidenced by the submitted poetry
  • Proven ability to undertake successful creative, innovative, and effective approaches in comparable projects
  • Demonstrated ability to work creatively with groups of different ages and backgrounds
  • Experience with speaking in public venues
  • Ability to understand a locale’s sense of place and inspire its residents in written and personal expression
  • Demonstrated interest in and commitment to community outreach
  • Conformance with ArtsWestchester’s guidelines for public art including but not limited to quality, nature of work, originality, and diversity.

ArtsWestchester will provide logistical support for organizing and publicizing the events as well as assist the laureate to work with cultural organizations, business owners, and other agencies.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 192918

Estimated Size of Grant:

The Poet Laureate will receive a stipend of $2,500 for the two-year term. There will be an additional $500 allotted for program costs.

Term of Contract:

The two-year term will begin January 1, 2021, and end on December 31, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The poet laureate must:
- Be a resident of Westchester County, NY for at least 2 years
- Demonstrate a commitment to poetry writing, spoken word performance, and community involvement and outreach
- Have past work that is of high artistic quality (demonstrated by journal publications, chapbooks, books, audio or video)
- Have the ability to engage the public
- Be at least 25 years of age at the time of application
- Be able to serve the full two-year term as laureate and maintain residency in Westchester County throughout the term

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline to apply has been extended to Friday, November 20, 2020, at 11:59 PM.

The ArtsWestchester requires that there be one application per poet and all submissions be provided in electronic format only, via Submittable.

- October 19, 2020: Call for Poets Released
- November 16, 2020: Applications Due via Submittable
- Late November/ Early December 2020: Interviews with Selected Applicants
- Mid- December: Selection of Artist Announced following the ArtsWestchester Board of Directors meeting
- January 2021 – December 2022: Expected Term of Poet Laureate

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

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URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York: Westchester County

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