Working with artists from all around Michigan, we find a powerful way to uplift W. K. Kellogg Foundation Michigan Grantees through poetry, art and music.

SEE THE VIDEO on the W. K. Kellogg Foundation website here:http://www.wkkf.org/knowledge-center/multimedia/video-clips/2012/Collective-Impact.aspx

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation wrapped up its second annual convening of the foundation’s Michigan grantees today in Detroit. More than 300 grantees, staff and consultants gathered for the two-day “Michigan Communities in Action Annual Convening” to network and exchange new ideas that will help improve the lives of Michigan’s most vulnerable children.

Kinetic Affect’s Gabriel Giron and Kirk Latimer, who debuted their Michigan Poem with the convening’s theme on collective impact, Kinetic Affect partnered with vocalists, musicians and other artists for the evening performances. In a particularly touching performance, youth and emerging spoken word artist Gina Huffman performed for the first time sharing her deeply personal poem, “Looks Can Be Deceiving.”

Day Two opened with another motivating performance from Kinetic Affect, in collaboration with multi-media artist Sioux Trujillo. Giron and Latimer challenged attendees to “move to action” by joining the artist in staining a white, 8-foot by 10-foot board with gray, pink, yellow and black colors. As nearly 100 people were “getting their hands dirty” staining the wall, the colors blended to reveal the words of Kinetic Affect’s latest poem, “Collecting Impact.” The poem provoked grantees in how they think about and implement their work, “to lift (their) heads from their silo work” and recognize “what community will achieve when we align our hearts together.”

Grantees continued to engage in dialogue around moving ideas to action and discussing the road ahead for work in place – Battle Creek, Detroit, Grand Rapids and innovative work across the state.

Kinetic Affect and Trujillo brought the convening to a close – whitewashing the art board the grantees had created in the morning session. The act serves as a reminder that when you do difficult work – get your hands dirty – it’s challenging to maintain the hard, constant work that’s needed to bring long-term change. The colorful board, on the surface, looked chaotic, but it was beautiful and worth the effort.