Big Tree Arts, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organized to promote performance poetry for the Boise community. Prior to incorporation in 2007, we operated as the Boise Poetry Slam. Our mission is to promote the performance and creation of poetry and art while cultivating literary activities and performance events in order to build audience participation, stimulate creativity, awaken minds, foster education, inspire mentoring, and encourage artistic statement. In addition to holding the longest-running open poetry series in Boise, Big Tree Arts has been actively serving the Boise community since 2002 through:
► developing education and community programs which utilize performance poetry
•The Loud Writers’ Program provides youth poets with access to performance poetry opportunities. The program has three components: multi-session poetry workshops with at-risk youth at Frank Church High, Eagle Academy, and Hays Shelter Home; outreach poetry visits to local high schools to introduce students to the art of performance poetry; and bimonthly all-ages poetry workshops followed by all-ages poetry slams held at The Crux in Boise.
•The Spoken Word Reading and Workshop Series, which began in 2006, brings world-class poets to Boise to perform with local poets and for our growing poetry audience. Performances for this series are held at our monthly Poetry Slam Delux event at Neurolux in Boise.
► sponsoring and supporting performance poetry events across Boise and beyond, as well as developing performance poetry audiences
•Since November 2002 we have organized a monthly poetry event and partnered with Boise State University on their biannual poetry slams and the Martin Luther King Jr. Slam for Justice.
•We brought the 2003 and 2004 Boise Slam teams to the Snake River Correction Facility (maximum security, 6000 inmates). The prisoners participated in an open mic reading of their poems.
•In 2004 we partnered with the Hispanic Cultural Center to host a poetry open mic.
•In 2004 and 2005 we partnered with The Cabin at the Boise Art Museum to produce poetry slams.
•In 2006 we brought several all-ages poetry events to Boise, Nampa, and Meridian.
•In 2007 we performed at First Thursday and as an Artist in the Market for the Boise City Arts Commission; we also sponsored a bilingual poetry slam, “El Grito de los Latinos en Idaho,” in Canyon County.
•In 2008 we added a monthly all-ages poetry workshop and slam, now held at Crux, to our regular schedule, more than doubling our services.
► sponsoring and promoting the Boise Slam Team Project
•The 2003 Boise Slam Team was the first Idaho team to compete at the National Poetry Slam in Chicago. The 2004 Boise Slam Team competed at the National Poetry Slam in St. Louis.
•Since 2006 the Boise Slam has competed in regional competitions in Salt Lake City, Bellingham, Seattle, Berkeley, Oakland, and Denver, as well as competing at the National Poetry Slam and Individual World Poetry Slam events.
•In 2009 the Boise Team was invited to perform on the Finals Stage Showcase at the Individual World Poetry Slam.
•Attendance and competition at regional and national events has fostered local creativity and facilitated bringing high caliber, out-of-town poets to Boise.
Big Tree Arts’ Artistic Vision: Big Tree Arts is an Idaho nonprofit that provides the community with opportunities for high quality, diverse, and accessible performance poetry and educational programs. We uniquely serve the Treasure Valley through our performance poetry workshops and slams by providing access to the art form for area writers, performers, and audiences, and we specifically seek to engage audiences as part of the creative process involved in the art of poetry slam.
We are so lucky to have our posters designed by Elise Robbins!