What has surprised me about participating in We are the World Blogfest is that I have learned much about my own community – from the Cycling Without Age program at Brewster Village to the Fox Valley Memory Project to the work that Habitat for Humanity does in the Appleton area. This has been an eye-opening experience in how I have not paid attention to the events and organizations that are doing good things for people in the Fox Valley community.
For this month’s #WATWB, I have found an Appleton city project that has been present since 2014.
I had no idea.
While sitting at the local coffee shop one day, reading a copy of Fox Cities Magazine, I discovered the Passionate About Poetry contest.
“The City of Appleton’s Department of Public Works is accepting submissions in its annual sidewalk poetry program. Five poems by Appleton residents will be selected for stamping in sidewalks throughout the city in 2018.
Sidewalk poetry is stamped in sidewalks on city-owned property and public sidewalks in neighborhoods throughout Appleton. The program, now in its fifth year, endeavors to transform the city’s sidewalks into an open poetry book and create everyday moments of open-air reading for residents.
All residents of Appleton and students of the Appleton Area School District are eligible to submit their own original poetry. Applicants may submit one poem per year. Poems must fit within a maximum of 10 lines, 35 characters per line including spaces and 225 characters overall including spaces and be appropriate for the general public.
Poems must be submitted by February 23 and selected poems will be announced on March 21.”
I read this a week after the deadline. Damn!
Nevertheless, I was extremely curious about this annual contest and ongoing project and wanted to know more. I found articles like this one, that announced the 2017 winners and contains a photo of one of the poems. If one goes to the Appleton City Department of Public Works, there are sidewalk poetry titles and locations from each year’s contest. The photo at the beginning of this post is sidewalk poetry in downtown Appleton. I can’t begin to count how many times I may have walked over the top of it and never looked down, never noticed.
In the spirit of #WATWB and its positivity, my goals for the coming year are two-fold:
- Take a tour of the city and find more sidewalk poetry.
- Submit winning poetry for the contest in 2019…before the deadline.
What a wonderful way to spread the arts and joy around the city!
I wonder what else I will find out about the Fox Valley in the months to come?
The “We are the World” Blogfest is in its second year of a heartfelt journey. This blogfest’s goal is to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts, Sylvia McGrath, Sylvia Stein, Shilpa Garg, Eric Lahti and Belinda Witzenhausen, welcome participants and encourage all to join in during future months. #WATWB is a blog hop on the last Friday of every month. Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time. You are always welcome!
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