The LP & USDAC: The People’s State Of The Union

The LP, in partnership with U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC)* presents: The People’s State Of The Union:


Saturday, February 3, 1-3pm

920 Kelly Street, Bronx, NY 10459


Most years, the President delivers the State of the Union address to highlight important national issues from the past year and suggest priorities for the year to come. It’s a broadcast from one to many. But what if, once a year, we could all speak and listen to each other? What if the annual address was not a speech spoken by one, but a poem created by many?


The LP, in partnership with the USDAC, will take part in the People’s State of the Union, a new civic ritual and participatory art project. We’ll gather at our Kelly Street Collaborative space to join people across the country to convene Story Circles with our neighbors, friends, and community members to respond to three prompts:


  • Share a story about an experience that gave you insight into the state of our union.
  • Share a story about a time you felt a sense of belonging—or the opposite—to this nation or your community.
  • Share a story of an experience that gave you hope in the past year.


Stories will be shared back online, inspiring the creation of the 2018 People’s State of the Union Address, devised collaboratively by a diverse group of poets. This address will be delivered as a poem, broadcast live in April.


Activities will be co-led by 2017 Create Change Fellow Nikomeh Anderson. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.


In a year that’s seen more polarizing slogans and soundbites, more demonstrations and heated debates than ever, looking each other in the eye and sharing our stories matters even more than usual. In such moments, being able to cross political divides and remain in dialogue is a worthy challenge. Who are we? What touches our hearts and minds? What do our communities need, and what do they need to hear from us? We may know our own answers, but do we know each other?


Find out more about #PSOTU2017 here.


*The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture is not a government agency, but a people-powered movement dedicated to cultivating empathy, equity, and social imagination.