HFPA Banquet Features LA Youth Poet Laureate
This year's Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) Banquet featured our own Salome Agbaroji, LA Youth Poet Laureate, for a special performance. Over the last 28 years, the association has donated more than $55 million to organizations related to the entertainment industry as well as to humanitarian causes, has offered more than 2,200 scholarships to film students, and has funded the restoration of 138 films. In tandem with hosts (and HFPA grantees) Film Independent and The Film Collaborative, representatives from more than 60 organizations got together with HFPA members, including President Helen Hoehne, and Grants Officer Sandra Cuneo.
Salome's performance of her original poem In the Palms of Our Hands was met with a standing ovation from the event's attendees. You can watch her full performance here on the Official Golden Globes Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cll0WsYsKit/
Read below for quotes for more about the event!
“When I moved to Los Angeles to further my career in film education, I thought that every street corner would have resources and film festivals and mentors for young filmmakers. I didn’t find that to be true,” cited Samuel Curtis, Director of Creative Media for Get Lit, a teen literacy group.
But (meeting) the folks who were in the group for pre-professional development … that is what I was always dreaming of. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, over the past five years, has shown us the future of the industry.
Hollywood may have a long way until it reinvents itself as a progressive industry that fully embraces plurality. Yet, in this recent event, when the Film Independent offices turned into a place where various missions, aspirations, and endeavors could cross-pollinate – on that day, diversity was realized.
Even more importantly, the gathering let us take a peek into a future in which competition is replaced by collaboration, isolation by interconnectivity, need by exchange. And, in which rigid hierarchy is mitigated by acceptance and appreciation of differences.
“Poetry is a torch in the darkness, igniting the flame of literacy and reconciliation,” said Samuel Curtis, Director of Creative Media, introducing Get Lit, a nonprofit that looks to the power of the word as a way of social and personal transformation. With the HFPA’s support, the organization has partnered with the Compton School District. “Thanks to the HFPA and our partnership with Get Lit,” said Anisha Nicholson, a school administrator, “our youth are enhancing their public speaking and writing skills as they use poetry to awaken the very best within themselves.”
Get Lit’s Deputy Director Mason Granger proudly introduced Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate Salome Agbaroji. The young poet drew the warmest applause and a standing ovation from those present, who enjoyed not only the words of her fluid and powerful poem In the Palms of Our Hands but also her animated and expressive performance of it.
Get Lit & Me on the Official Golden Globes Channels (Featured Alongside FilmAid & the NAACP): https://www.instagram.com/p/CleC10uvZoq/
Ronen Rubinstein (9-1-1: Lone Star) joins 19-year-old poet Libby Oren in delivering an inspirational reading of her poem "No One Else" to celebrate Pride Month 2023.
Get Lit's monthly Breathing Fire: celebrating Mental Health Awareness month, pride reading lists, and more!
"Mental health has always been an area that has been important to me. The Get Lit curriculum allows students to learn ways to express what they are feeling, or going through, but more importantly, know they are not alone, and feel supported."
Nerds of Color: "Mental Health Awareness Takes Center Stage at Get Lit’s ‘Our Worlds Collide’ Screening"
"If there’s anything we can learn from the coming generation, it’s that community, self-expression, and the power of words count much more than we might think."
So grateful for this feature on Spectrum News’ What’s Good all about the power of youth poetry, as witnessed at the Classic Slam 2023!