P4's mission, simply stated, is to collect, preserve, and provide access to performance material from the poetry slam movement's first 25 years (1987-2012). Working collaboratively with poets, academics, librarians and with the support of the slam community, we resolve to:
- Overcome obstacles to preserving recorded slam performances;
- Create a sustainable archive of recorded performances for scholarship and public enrichment; and
- Promote awareness of slam poetry's significant effects on American culture and the arts.
The path to achieving our goals leads past several intermediate milestones:
- Expand the current P4 collection to more fully represent the slam phenomenon;
- Build a website to present the P4 collection's media files to scholars and the public;
- Adapt the P4 collection's poetry catalog to enable topical searches via the Internet; and
- Adapt the P4 collection's poetry performance media for Internet-based sharing.
All of P4’s goals and milestones are substantial undertakings. P4 therefore has three more foundational goals:
- Dedicate ourselves to being a leading resource and advocate for slam poetry, and for the slam poetry community;
- Establish a partnership with an established, respected, and like-minded repository institution; and
- Secure sustainable short- and long-term funding.