Poetry and pottery continue the tradition of commitment


MANITOU SPRINGS — With a focus on building community through sculpting words and throwing clay, Poetry and Pottery continued its summer tradition this year at Manitou’s Soda Springs Park, an event that began in summer 2016 course.

Created through a partnership between non-profit Manitou Poetry Heals and Wong Wares, Poetry and Pottery was first conceptualized about six years ago as a way to bring art, and with it, a community presence additional and positive at the Soda Springs Park pavilion.

“At the time, we had a social problem with our parks, it wasn’t a very fun place, and bad things were happening, especially at night,” commented Molly Wingate, executive director of Poetry Heals, an organization nonprofit dedicated to healing through the written word.

Wingate says she met Mark Wong, owner of Wong Wares, at a town hall meeting in 2016, both discovered they shared a similar passion for bringing art to Soda Springs Park in Manitou and already had access some funding to start the project.

“I had a grant that could help us get started,” Wingate said. “Then I turned to the then city planning director and asked where the city had the money for this, and he said ‘I have money’, so the idea was like five minutes and already had funding so I was like, OK, I guess we’ll do this.”

Years later, the event continues; aiming to bring together a range of individuals from all walks of life, tourists, locals and our homeless neighbours, to share a common goal of having fun, starting conversations and engaging their creative minds.

“We have ongoing relationships with people who usually don’t have relationships with anyone,” Wingate said.

The free event takes place every Tuesday from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. from mid-June to August 2 and offers all visitors the opportunity to learn how to use a potter’s wheel with a teacher, how to glaze and fire a finished product, or simply express themselves in writing with a variety of colored pens and pencils.

“It makes people smile,” Wingate continued, “it makes people smile, I mean you could do brain chemistry, serotonin is flowing man!”

It’s clear from just entering the pavilion that the event is achieving its goal of promoting positivity from the word “go,” and organizers report seeing dozens of people each week filtering, writing, sculpting, typing a bowl of soup or just hanging out.

“Again,” Wong said, “you’ve shared experiences and people are getting along a little better.”

Wingate explains that the entire effort would not be possible without the essential component of community support, you can learn more about the donors who help fund poetry and pottery HERE.

Although this specific event only runs until early August (2nd), Poetry Heals hosts a number of other programs and hopes to continue Poetry and Pottery next year if funding becomes available again. .


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