Your donations help place writer mentors in schools.

Individual Giving & Sustaining Membership

Join us in shaping the future of 7,500 Tennessee youth every year in schools and community organizations.

“Southern Word is preparing our youth to be powerful communicators, critical thinkers, and strong leaders – skills that every successful person needs.”

Beth Chase, CEO, C3 Consulting

Leaders Circle

The Leaders Circle recognizes Southern Word’s most generous benefactors who support this work with annual gifts of $500 or more. These individuals and organizations are committed to preparing youth to be powerful communicators, thinkers, and leaders through the vehicles of spoken word poetry, creative writing, and music production. Contact Amber McCullough at 615-337-0283 or to learn more about adding your name to this growing list of community leaders.


Southern Word does not execute any program in isolation. We believe strategic partnerships create greater impact while preventing duplication of services. Leading partners include the Nashville Public Library, Middle Tennessee public schools, TPAC, Vanderbilt, and the Frist Center for Visual Arts. Contact Amber McCullough at 615-337-0283 or if you are interested in becoming a partner in this transformational work.


The evening will feature performances from youth poets, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks, and an overview of Southern Word’s impact on students in Tennessee. While the event is free, at the end of the program, we will be asking attendees to invest in the future of Southern Word. The evening will also serve as a celebration to kick-off Southern Word’s 10th year working with youth. While we have demonstrated highly effective tools for youth literacy, engagement, and transformation, there are tens of thousands of youth who are in need of these experiences. If you believe in the limitless potential of our youth, join us. RSVP or learn how you can serve as an event host for the celebration by emailing .

Event Sponsorship

State of the Word
An annual showcase of TN’s top high school & college poets with 4-500 attendees.
High School District Slams
TN’s high school students compete by district w/ winners competing statewide.
Southern Word Grand Slam
District winners compete for top lyrical honors & chance to compete nationally.
Brave New Voices
Winners of the Southern Word Grand Slam compete annually at this prestigious national competition in July. It costs $7500 to provide our youth this rare and transformative opportunity.

Middle School Slam
TN’s middle school students take their first steps as artists and presenters.
College Slam
College students compete as an opportunity to build community.
Black History House
A celebration of African-American past, present, & future at the East Branch Library.
Golf Classic
This annual golf scramble provides a chance to have fun & support Southern Word’s work.


CHAMPIONS ($10,000+)
Metro Nashville Arts Commission
Tennessee Arts Commission
Youth Speaks, Inc.
Nashville Public Library Foundation
Nashville Public Library
Community Enhancement Fund
Metro Nashville Public Schools
Dan & Margaret Maddox Charitable Fund
National Endowment for the Arts
LEAD Public Schools
Dugas Family Foundation

Humanities Tennessee
Memorial Foundation

FAMILY ($2,500+)
Bone Family Fund of CFMT
Dollar General Foundation
Ida F. Conney Fund for the Arts of CFMT
Lockeland Springs Neighborhood Association
Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation
Baylor Bone Swindell
Community Foundation of Middle TN

PARTNERS ($1,000+)
Alicia Adkerson
Joel Alex & Lauren Bailey
Andrew Allen Charitable Foundation
Bongo Productions
Kelly Falzone
Lynn Walker
Anderson & Katie Williams
Manuel Zeitlin

FRIENDS ($500+)
Bill & Ginger Dallas Family Fund
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
Buhl Family Fund of CFMT
Abi Hewitt
Laurie and Steven Eskind Fund of CFMT
Julie & Ralph Mosley

Shiva Bozarth
Noelle Brown
Nealy Glenn
Lindsay Merwin

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