Teaching literacy. CHANGING LIVES.


In January 2015, OLAA was one of 16 national non-profits selected as a foundational "Leadership Cohort" organization in the BNV Network Initiative. Future information regarding this partnership, as well as our participation in the annual Brave New Voices Festival will be posted here.  

​Arts Alliance

Overview of the BNV Network Initiative – Powered by Youth Speaks

The Brave New Voices Network Initiative (the “BNV Network Initiative”) is a seven-year initiative, dedicated to building a sustainable field of nonprofit organizations and programs throughout the United States that intersect arts education, and youth development practices with a deep focus on long-term civic engagement and public presentation. The initiative provides general operating support, training and other types of technical assistance, peer learning exchanges, digital support and visibility. The project is eligible to youth programs and organizations that specifically focus on spoken word and performance poetry.

BNV Network Leadership Cohort

The formation of a Leadership Cohort, comprised of 16 organizations that will receive targeted investments over a three-year period, is one of the core components of the BNV Network Initiative. Organizations/programs who become a part of the Leadership Cohort will be eligible to receive cash grants ranging between $25,000 and $100,000 annually over the next three years, participate in ongoing capacity-building training, online and in-person, and receive Future Corps staffing support in years two and three of this initiative.

Youth Speaks, whose offices are in San Francisco, will serve as the hub for the entire operation. The organizations selected were:

• Urban Word NYC in New York (founded in 1999);

• Young Chicago Authors (founded in 1991);

• Words Beats and Life in Washington DC (founded in 2002);

• MassLEAP in Boston (founded in 2009);

• Writers in the Schools, Houston (founded in 1993);

• Kuumba Lynx in Chicago (founded in 1996);

• Inside Out in Detroit (founded in 1995);

• Sacrificial Poets in North Carolina (founded in 2012);

• Sacramento Area Youth Speaks (founded in 2009);

• Southern Word in Nashville (founded in 2008);

• TruArtSpeaks in the Twin Cities (founded in 2006);

• Forward Arts in Baton Rouge (founded in 2011);

• GetLit in Los Angeles (founded in 2006);

• Oklahoma Literary Arts Alliance (OLAA) in Tulsa (founded in 2014);

• Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement (founded in 2009); and

• First Peoples Fund in South Dakota (founded in 1996).