Trapeta B. Mayson’s Latest Work Captures Kindness Across the Commonwealth

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Philadelphia poet laureate Trapeta B. Mayson recently published a poem in collaboration with PA Humanities for World Kindness Day.

World Kindness Day is an international holiday created in 1998 to promote kindness. It takes place on November 13 every year.

Mayson was invited by PA Humanities to write a poem about kindness and the state of Pennsylvania. The poet called the invitation an “honor” as an opportunity to promote kindness.

“[The project] really intrigued me and really matched a lot of the things that I work on as an artist, ”Mayson said. AL DÍA.

By partnering with the nonprofit PA Humanities, Mayson wrote an original poem, inspired by the citizens of Philadelphia and more broadly of Pennsylvania, titled “Kindness Lives Here.”

“Kindness Lives Here” was part of the nonprofit PA Kindness Poem Project.

As well as being citizen-focused, the poem was inspired by “crowd” posts shared on social media for the PA Kindness Poem Project.

The project was inspired by the tumultuous last year, the challenges faced and the grief felt throughout. Its purpose was to show the importance of benevolence and generosity in our shared experience.

The project was a yearlong initiative that encouraged Pennsylvanians to share offerings of generosity, unity, healing, reconciliation and peace.

Pennsylvanians shared these sentiments on social media, expressing their kindest feelings on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.

From the social media submission to the recurring themes of those submissions, Mayson was inspired to capture the desire for kindness of the citizens of Pennsylvania.

“There were three, I would say, running themes… one of the themes included how much cuteness is really needed now, right now, after we’ve been through COVID, the election,” Mayson said.

In addition to kindness, the other themes were instances of an individual being kind to someone and examples of being kind to others.

Many Pennsylvanians shared comments with PA Humanities about a need for kindness and described instances where individuals were kind to them.

Another goal of the project is to give communities a way to have their stories heard.

“It was definitely a great way to [achieve the goal]… The fact that it was easy to access for individuals, ”Mayson said.

The poem was completed around early October. PA Humanities shared a video of Mayson’s poem recited by various Philadelphians and Pennsylvanians.

This reading of “Kindness Lives Here” gathered 12 readers (excluding Gritty’s contributions).

Featured in the video:

  • Trapeta B Mayson, writer, Philadelphia 2020-2021 Poet Laureate
  • Conrad Benner, photographer
  • Mario andretti, former racing driver
  • Tracy davidson, anchor NBC10
  • Nydia Han, anchor 6abc
  • Ukee Washington, CBS 3 anchor
  • Beck dorey stein, author
  • Alexandre diaz, principal dancer of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater
  • Jason schupbach, Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, Dean of Drexel University
  • Gisele Barreto Fetterman, Second Lady of Pennsylvania
  • Francoise Loup, First Lady of Pennsylvania
  • Laurie Zierer, Executive Director of PA Humanities

Upon the release of the PA Kindness Poem Project, the nonprofit also announced its rebranding from Pennsylvania Humanities Council to PA Humanities.

PA Humanities believes the new brand image is more open, inviting and inclusive while better representing unity.

In their rebranding, PA Humanities hopes to support community revitalization and give voice to those who are not heard, through future projects.

As the nonprofit offers more programs in and around the state, PA Humanities hopes to open the door for more conversations and stories.


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