Teaching literacy. CHANGING LIVES.
"More than a decade has passed since LTAB began, and the purpose and focus of the slam has not changed. The slam is not about the competition. It is a vehicle to engage young people and audiences in creating counter-narratives —new narratives to re-imagine the self and one another. LTAB is rooted in intentional grassroots community organizing that brings together all neighborhoods within a city. LTAB’s belief in actively engaging young cultural citizens from all highways and byways of our city results in a more integrated and understanding society. Young people learn about folks they might not have otherwise ever met and, as a result of cultural grounding, they develop mutual respect and tolerance for difference." ~ Kevin Coval (Organizer's Toolbox)
The LTAB programming is much more than an annual youth festival and poetry competition, it is also:
Integration of Oklahoma history and geography
Outside-of-School curriculum workshops at art institutions and community orgs
Connections to city resources for students
Emcee Olympics and Hip Hop education
Exchange programming with Young Chicago Authors and other regional "LTAB" sites
Access to leading literary arts educators
All-City & state gatherings intended to bridge communities
Louder Than a Bomb in Oklahoma
Louder Than a Bomb-Oklahoma (LTAB-OK) engages schools and community organizations in workshops, poetry clubs in schools, youth-led open mics, showcases, panel discussions and an annual teen poetry competition. LTAB-OK (formerly known as "LTAB-Tulsa") was the FIRST regional outgrowth of Louder Than a Bomb, the largest teen poetry festival in the world based in Chicago and the subject of the award-winning documentary film,Louder Than a Bomb (Siskel/Jacobs Productions, 2011, click the link to see the trailer). The Oklahoma chapter seeks to make a positive difference in the lives of young people through creative writing, publishing and performance education. It facilitates an exchange between Oklahoma and Chicago (YCA) students and educators, and has helped to spark a national rollout of the program. LTAB provides safe spaces that emphasize community building, education and youth empowerment. Participating students come together to share stories, break stereotypes, speak their truth, and challenge themselves and their audiences. The ethos of Louder Than a Bomb informs much of OLAAs programs, and it remains a flagship enterprise. By carrying on the rich tradition of oral storytelling and the spoken word, LTAB-OK has had a remarkable ability to engage young people and adults alike.