If community is created by the stories we tell, we need, more than ever, the chance to listen deeply to one another's stories. To answer this need, Radius is a storytelling project by and for underserved community members of western Massachusetts. Via Radius, strong teachers from the UMass Amherst MFA writers offer community members an empowering workshop and audio recording environment. The goal of Radius is simple: to help find and amplify perspectives which might otherwise go unheard while, along the way, offering vocational exposure and training to those who might most benefit.
A President's Creative Economy grant helped Radius be born into its public life in the fall of 2017. To further its goals, Radius has created partnerships with New England Public Radio, the Care Center of Holyoke, the Gandara Center of West Springfield, and Amherst Community Connections. Our collaborators allow us to reach vulnerable individuals through western Massachusetts, ranging from underserved young mothers of color, to individuals and families suffering from homelessness and extreme poverty, to prisoners reintegrating into their communities, to refugees. We invite you to listen to a few of our stories at www.soundcloud.com/radiusmfa.
If you believe in the need to help empower individuals, if you think the story we tell of our lives profoundly influences our later choices, consider helping support a mission meant to help our most vulnerable communities find both truth and power.
We at Radius need your help now in order to sustain our work of service and community engagement. A donation of as little as $5 will help us build our cash reserves, while a donation of $50,000 will help us reach a wider community. Any donation, however small, will be more than matched, opening the door at Radius to a wider variety of funding opportunities, including grants from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts.
Some treats are in store for you:
- FRIEND: your donation of $100 or more brings you a chapbook of original work from UMass MFA students.
- CONFIDANTE: your donation of $5,000 or more qualifies you for a manuscript consultation and a private dinner.
- BENEFACTOR: your donation of $10,000 or more qualifies you for a manuscript consultation, dinner, and a special performance.
The time is now: vulnerable citizens deserve a chance to learn to empower themselves through the power of story. Your donation to Radius via #UMassGives will be so appreciated. Even five dollars helps! All donations are tax-deductible.