Unfettered by geography
The sacred convergence of self-acceptance and growth
True north lies
In the comfort of my own skin.
This was one of the poems, read aloud by their authors, during a dedication ceremony at The Main in Old Town Newhall on Saturday – which presented 10 poems by local poets that are to be immortalized across the valley.
Each of the poems – which are “home” themed – will be etched into sidewalks across the city, where they’ll remain indefinitely.
This poem was written by Lisa Broadway Chow, who said having her work be appreciated and cemented into the city’s sidewalks was a huge honor.
“I’m really honored, I’m so proud. It’s such an incredible program where you take something that’s damaged, and you find a way to put art into that,” said Chow. “I think that’s what life is about – is taking what’s bad and repairing it and making it better.”
The selected poems are actually the finalists following a lengthy vetting process done by the city of Santa Clarita’s Arts Commission, in coordination with the city’s Public Works Department.
April Scott-Goss, vice president of the Santa Clarita Arts Commission, played a role in deciding the finalists, and said what she liked most about poems that made the final list is the concept that they’ll be immortalized.
“These will go on and on, even if they leave the city or when they go on and [the poems] are here. I just find that to be incredible,” said Scott-Goss. “To see the humbleness of them being surprised and how much we were actually celebrating their work – poetry is so important because it’s a way of expressing ourselves, especially in a few words… is really, really admirable and I appreciate that they share their art with us.”
“It’s important to have all of our processes impact the community. Our vision is to really have everyone who lives here to have a positive impact from the arts and this is one of those ways,” said Arts Commissioner Michael Millar. “Each time you have poets who are recognized, each time you have people walking down the street and seeing this in the street [it’s good].”
City Councilwoman Marsha McLean was very impressed with the poets’ work and seemed touched by hearing them read.
“Listening to the poems of these young people was so inspiring to me, it makes me feel uplifted, makes me feel like all the negativity disappears when you hear the lightness of these poems coming from their hearts and I love it,” said McLean. “I love this program. I love the fact that we’re doing this so that people walking around the city can be inspired as they walk, and it’s just a fabulous program. So I wanted to be here to show them how much we care for their work and how much we cherish the uplifting inspiration that they bring.”
With the 10 poems inducted on Saturday, there are now 14 poems featured in the Sidewalk Poetry Project. To see the locations of these poems, visit bit.ly/3sbSIN9.