Spoken Word & Music Event = Success!


Last Friday, Grand Rapidians filled the Wealthy Theater Annex to capacity to attend our highly-anticipated Spoken Word & Music event. All 75 chairs were filled (and roughly 30 people were left standing) to hear our middle school students read poems crafted in the past several weeks at the CYC.

Though local poets, music lovers, and curious members of the community filled the audience, the award for Heroes of the Night goes to our young poets and the students of Triumph Music Academy. The Triumph students performed in-tandem accompaniments to the CYC poems to form beautiful, inspiring works of art.

In case you missed the event (or attended, and LOVED it), we wanted to share a few sample pieces with you–just so you can experience the Awesome of our kids at the CYC.


I am Music 

by Diah

I am music following to your ears

I am love shooting into your heart

When you hear my voice you stop

And listen and wonder I am music

Who sings through hard times I am

Music which unites the whole race

America is a genre but I am music

And I sing for everyone. Just listen.


Black Women Are Our Guardians  

by Qyliyah

I am a Art lovin’, music singin’,

Hip-hop dancin’, crazy girl

I am joyful, full of Passion

And will always have an

Open heart.

I am a child growing everyday

Walking from school to home

Trying to survive and being


I am my siblings Guardian

I will love and protect them

I cherish them with all

My heart we don’t get along

Very well but I love them and

I vow that I will protect

Even in my darkest fears

I am a black women.

–who says women can’t do what

A man can’t handle–



I am  

by Aiyannah

I am my mother’s child

Tall, small feet, small hands


I am Ohio

Small, in a crib, loud

And a crybaby

I am Grand Rapids

Older, Responsible,

Respectful, and



I am running, yelling

And laughing seeing 8

Legs and a big body

I am the daughter

Of an artist

Who raised

Me for who I

Am today

We couldn’t be more proud of our students!

Middle School Students Preparing for Spoken Word Event

Friday, December 16 from 6-7pm @ The Wealthy Theatre Annex (1110 Wealthy St. SE)

The middle school students have been hard at work in their collaboration with Triumph Music Academy for next Friday’s spoken word event.

“That sounded great,” James Hughes, the owner of Triumph Music Academy, said following the rehearsal in the first week of December. And he wasn’t kidding–the Triumph students created musical pieces to highlight the mood created in each of the CYC kids’ spoken word poems, featuring a sleigh bell in one poem where a student wishes to “rain Poptarts over the homeless,” while the subject of bullying received more ominous tones from a guitar.

This collaboration explores how the combination of poetry and music can create a more powerful experience for an audience than either art form might accomplish on its own. The project has drawn the eye of Michigan Radio which will feature pieces by reporter Dustin Dwyer, who hopes to improve economic opportunities for low-income children. Dwyer sat in on the rehearsal session to get a behind-the-scenes look (and listen).

With all the publicity surrounding the event, excited murmurs filled the CYC the night of the rehearsal. “We’re gonna be famous!” one student exclaimed.

Local poet Annie Livingston even made an appearance to provide examples of how to perform a spoken word piece, reciting from her own work. When asked by one student if she gets nervous before performing, Livingston replied, “This is the most nervous I’ve been in a long time.” Though the response was in good humor, it shows the guts it takes for these kids to perform their poetry for an audience, which is all the more reason to come enjoy this event.

Needless to say, these kids have been working their butts off. So spread the word, and come check out this FREE event next Friday! You won’t want to miss it. (There’s also limited seating. Race your neighbors to the show.)

Friday, December 16 from 6-7pm @ The Wealthy Theatre Annex (1110 Wealthy St. SE)

Meet a CYC Student: Chloe!

As you know, the CYC strives to amplify kids’ voices–therefore, we’re happy to introduce one of the CYC’s very own adventurers! Meet Chloe, a second-grade superstar. Enjoy some of Chloe’s trademark creative, elaborate responses to this questionnaire.

If I could be any animal in the world I would be a cheetah! They run so fast. I would play, run around, exercise, and eat whatever cheetah’s eat.

If I had a superpower it would be flying AND laser eyes so I could kill villains. Well, not really kill them, actually. I’d put them in jail and they’re in trouble with me and the polices.

When I grow up I want to be an artist because I already am an artist at school. Duh.

I like writing because I like to write adventure stories!

My favorite story that I wrote is “Halloween”! Because it’s so scary I like it. My friends live by my grandma. Well, they moved to Sweden. But they had parties and we had a dance party and I was the last to go home.

I think Captain Tanny is nice! And kind. And helped us.

My favorite thing to do at the CYC is writing, playing, laughing.