Teaching Artist Spotlight: Devel Crisp

April 17, 2016

How did you first get involved with NWC?

In September of 2013, I was asked by Matt Mason to help with a writing workshop at IncluCity.  Then, I accepted an offer to coach Omaha North’s Louder Than a A Bomb team.

Why do you stay involved?

The Art of Expression.  I needed a program like LTaB when I was a teen.  It’s an outlet to express what’s going on inside yourself and I am overjoyed to help youth learn how to healthily emote those feelings.  Those kids will learn and teach others; a wonderful cycle!

Could you explain a little about what you do as a teaching artist?

My job is to provide materials to engage inspiration.  Whether through writing prompts, books or videos, my first goal is to get their pens moving.  Then, we work together to organize those thoughts into cohesive pieces.  Then amplify that piece with performance power!

What’s the most gratifying thing that has happened while you’ve been with NWC?

I enjoy watching my LTaB students thrive creatively after High School.  I enjoy knowing that I had a little part in helping them kindle their flames.

How does the work you do with the NWC inform and feed your own creative work?

LTaB youth inspire me so much to be greater at what I do.  To see an abundance of beauty transforming from these unfavorable tales and situations pushes me to take my craft more seriously.  We are truly saving lives.

What other projects are you working on right now?

I am mentally dancing with ideas for a book and an audio album.  I am also preparing for the National Poetry Slam in Atlanta, GA, this August, with all the other amazing folks that made the Omaha Slam Team.  Then, I prep for the Individual World Poetry Slam in Flagstaff, AZ in October.  What a year!

This space is where we get the opportunity to shine the light on the talented core teaching artists who share their art and their passion for poetry with the community. Our programs wouldn’t be as successful without their commitment and hard work.

- Devel Crisp