RunDSM’s Top 10 of 2018

December 31, 2018

It’s been a year of growth for the RunDSM family, including adding alumni coordinator, artist in residence, and mentoring positions to every vine of this grassroots Movement the youth of Des Moines Public Schools have grown. Thank you for loving us and loving the youth. Cheers to a new year of building community; check out some of our favorite moments from 2018 below!

Ten: We welcomed the schedule change and continued serving 10+ elementary schools with the Half-Pints Poetry program, pairing graduated DMPS alumni teaching artists with teachers in the home schools to create community and spoken word poetry with 2nd-5th grade students. Much love to 21st Century Community Learning Centers for this partnership!

Nine: The first-ever Movement 515 Middle School district wide gathering was held in November, bringing together students from Brody, Harding, Hiatt, Hoyt, and Meredith to write, honor each other’s existence, and collectively speak their truth. If you know of a middle school in DMPS wanting to start a program, hit us up for details!

Eight: The poets of Movement 515 selected local organization Please Pass the Love as our annual Share the Mic recipients, raising over $1000 to support young people struggling with mental illness.

Seven: RunDSM solicited submissions for our first poetry chapbook to be published in January of 2019! The chapbook will be debuted and ready for purchase at RunDSM’s 6th Annual Teen Summit community showcase on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at Hoyt Sherman Place (save the date!).

Six: The students of Urban Leadership 102 piloted the Equity is Elementary program, interning in 1st, 4th, and 5th grade classrooms and facilitating lessons on social justice and identity construction.

Five: The United Way of Central Iowa continued to be a foundational support for the Movement 515 program, providing middle and high school youth spaces to create via the arts of spoken word poetry, graffiti writing, and breakdancing, as well as produce community gatherings such as Teen Summit, Summer Fam Jam, and the annual Brave New Voices International Poetry Festival.

Four: RunDSM’s 4th Annual Summer Fam Jam was held on Friday, June 1 in the Courtyard of the Des Moines Social Club. Close to 2000 youth gathered to witness the local line-up of young and thriving singers, rappers, and hip-hop artists, creating positive vibes and celebrating the power of energetic reciprocity. And, thanks to the support of community members (we are so grateful!), we awarded $10,000 worth of scholarships to two deserving young people pursuing higher education. If you’ve never witnessed the energy of this generation in one collective space, save the date of May 31, 2019 for our annual Fam Jam! 

Three: In the Spring of 2018, we met with a group of local poets, hip-hop artists, rappers, and producers, all alumni of RunDSM or family to the Movement. This meeting was the beginning of the RunDSM Collective, with the first all-womxn produced showcase of art, music, and poetry debuting on Friday, January 18 at the Vaudeville Mews! Click here for event details.

Two: RunDSM’s Artist in Residence program expanded to 10 middle and high schools, creating a bigger table for graduated youth to elevate their leadership skills as teaching artists and mentors of the next generation of poets and artists.

One: North High School and University of Iowa graduate Leah Waughtal-Magiera joined the RunDSM family as the first full-time teaching artist and program coordinator. An alumni of Movement 515 and Urban Leadership at Central Campus, Leah spent her college career staying connected, coaching the Brave New Voices team alongside Words Taylor, supervising the Movement 515 Urban Arts Camp, and continuing to pour ideas and energy into the future of RunDSM. Thank you to Des Moines Public Schools for continuing to believe in our vision, creating space and leadership opportunities for our own to thrive within the system.