Sometime in March, I had the chance to do some speaking and poetic performing in the town of Ripley, NY. I was kindly invited by a friend named Celeste from the Buffalo Arts Council to be her guest along with local writer/performer, MC Vendetta. Ripley is 60 miles SW of Buffalo, so we’re talking ONLY a 45 minute drive or so. But OOOOH what a difference and hour makes.
There are only about 1700 residence in total that live in Ripley. There is ONE district school, that ALL the children attend, from Pre-K to 12. It was definitely a unique place. A guy named Mr. Shine was our host, and he does some wonderful things with the kids in Ripley, as well as a non-Profit he has in Africa. All of the students, parents and staff were GREAT to meet. They went over and beyond to make us feel at home.
All three of us, Celeste, Vendetta and myself, each shared our poetry with a crowd of maybe 35+ people (parents/kids). It was a very positive experience and we made a good connection with the children especially, for those of them that were into writing and performing. I love helping the youth, no matter where they are. The moment that you notice that you have touched the heart of at least one of them, makes any efforts worth while.
PT II to Ripley coming!!