Brave New Voices (BNV) was created by Youth Speaks, Inc in 1998 after the inaugural Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam in San Francisco—the first poetry slam dedicated to youth in the nation’s history. Since that time, Brave New Voices has grown to represent youth from all across the United States. BNV also features International teams from Canada, Africa, tne Polynisian Islands, and Europe, making it the largest and most diverse ongoing spoken word event in the world.
Having just completed its 15th year, Brave New Voices 2013 will bring together young, outspoken artists, educators, poets, and emerging leaders to the Chicago to participate in a celebration of Peace. This demonstration of free speech, artistic empowerment, and youth voice will foster a community of dialogue, where young people will gather, commune together, speak to and with each other, learn about and from one another and model what we believe the people of the world should do to foment peace.
This years festival will target the violence plaguing our society reflected in the high rates of youth violence in Chicago. We will create forums, provide intensive writing experiences and facilitate conversations formally and informally that foster artistic and personal growth, and community wellness. BNV pulls together young people from throughout the United States and several international countries who celebrate diversity and expression, and empower themselves through the written and spoken word. Brave New Voices reflects diversity as a value, crossing and challenging notions of ethnic, racial, and socio-economic and gender division. Brave New Voices is for a generation of young people who reflect a new ethic of mutual respect, cross-cultural communication, sincere expression, social justice and radical love. Brave New Voices is for youth who speak for themselves.