Arts Festival Provides Inspiration for BWL Poetry Festival

Richard Pan

Assistant to the Headmaster and Poet and Writer in Residence Ryan Clinesmith taught a poetry workshop titled Poetry Games, during the recent Independent School Association of the Southwest (ISAS) Arts Festival at St. Stephen’s School in Austin Texas. The ISAS Arts Festival is an event for high school students that attend independent schools in the Southwest. Run annually since 1967, the festival is a lauded event which hosts more than 3,000 high school students each year. Mr. Clinesmith was invited to teach the workshop by the ISAS Art Festival Director and at the direction of Headmaster Frank Carnabuci, his goal was two fold.  

The first mission was to promote BWL’s innovative work toward integrating the literary arts into BWL’s STEM program. The second goal was to gain valuable information regarding the production and organization of an arts festival for high school students. The later goal was set in anticipation of BWL’s endeavor toward a similar arts festival for independent schools in New York City, across the United States, and internationally. BWL’s Art Festival will be the first step toward an global consortium of independent schools dedicated to the exchange of poetry from demographically diverse students and communities.  

Furthermore, the poetry workshop at the ISAS Art Festival was a great success. Students laughed, grappled with challenges, and one proclaimed, “I had so much fun, I made so many new friends! And I learned how to write collaborative poetry!” Finally, if you have any questions about the arts festival or BWL’s Poetry Initiative please do not hesitate to reach out to Mr. Carnabuci or Mr. Clinesmith.