I hope the title got your interest :).
Here’s the idea. It strikes me that for living-and-working-in Sturgeon Bay, professional writer (writer, journalist, editor, etc.) is a very viable job and career. In part this is true because many aspects of this career can be done from anywhere in the interconnected world - and so it is appealing in the community of Sturgeon Bay with its quality of life advantages. In part this is viable because of the strong arts community in town, the fellowship of writers, and Write On Door County. We can build on our strengths in retaining and attracting young workers.
I suggest a “Future Poet Laureate” program, funded by the City for $500 per year. The High School would appoint an English teacher to facilitate the program, and set up a process to select one promising and motivated writing student each semester. Each semester, the teacher and the selected student would both be funded to attend one Write On workshop together (that’s $300 for four workshop fees per year, give or take). The student each semester would also receive a $100 stipend. Write On Door County could perhaps help facilitate connecting a professional writing mentor with the student and teacher each semester, who could meet with them during the semester for shared learning and critique.
The student then leads off each city council meeting (or maybe one council meeting each month) by reading a poem or short piece of prose they have written.
Classmates will tune in to watch the meeting and proudly see their fellow classmate - and this helps build future citizen engagement. The high school has an opportunity to demonstrate writing as a good career option.
And, I love the idea of starting off each council meeting with a poem. There is nothing like a little poetry to set a welcoming tone for the community and the meeting.
(Sent via Center Line Community Forum)