"Hear Here Poetry is a voice box for the Pikes Peak region," Peiffer said. "We are an open circle where people can write honestly and movingly about their experiences. We dig deep and plant seeds that encourage people to listen, write, and share poetry."
As 2016 wraps up and 2017 is born, the poetry organization that serves all ages in the Pikes Peak region hopes to climb higher than ever before. To accomplish those goals, Pieffer said the organization needs the community's help.
Q: Where does Hear Here Poetry fit into the Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak region community?
A: Hear Here is a playground where we face each other in a high spirited game. We foster courageous community that encourages acceptance and dialogue. We have become a concert hall for the stories in our city. As an essential element of the arts culture in Colorado Springs we partner with several other organizations dedicated to making a local impact with the arts. We are a classroom, a safe haven, a microphone, and a footbridge from our city to national stages.
Q: Why is so much energy placed on youth poetry and creativity? What does that do for a community?
A: Young people need to be heard—they need to be able to sort and share their experiences and they need to be listened to. We focus on the youth of our city because what they are saying is powerful and because they need a safe space to say it. When vibrant imaginations are mentored in crafting and performing poetry they gain new skill sets that benefit them in the long term. The individual stories of the young people in Colorado Springs are a compelling gateway for others to explore who we are.
Q: How do donations help Hear Here Poetry?
A: The majority of our funding is from direct donations—they support our year-round programming, our venue costs, and our operational expenses. Art should be sustainable and donations allow us to continue our work and build our outreach. We exist on donations of time, talent, and the generosity of our patrons.
Q: What is the biggest area of need for the organization right now?
A: Our biggest area of need going into the new year is to build the financial stability of our organization. As a budding non-profit, we’re seeking momentum with our start-up capital. Hear Here’s programming goals for 2017 are ambitious and we need assistance to meet them.
Q: If money was not a concern, what would you most like to see Hear Here accomplish?
A: I would love to see us expand our writing programming to hosting regular sessions, retreats, and workshops in our own dedicated classroom space. Our full time staff would receive livable salaries and be based in a central office. We would have a community gathering space with a library collection. I would want to take as many poets out of town to larger stages as I could. I’d bring more featured poets in from out of town and expose more people in town to poetry. I’d love to host a regional poetry slam tournament and advertise our events in traditional media—and perhaps we’d start a small local press.
Learn more about Hear Here Poetry events on the group Facebook page and follow Hear Here on Twitter. Hear Here Poetry is a non-profit with many financial needs to support the poetry community in Colorado Springs including sending poets to events such as Women of the World Poetry Slam. To make a tax-deductible donation, please click here