Changes Afoot! P4 Relinquishes our Non-Profit, 501(c)(3) status

It's been quite some time since I dropped a note to our mailing list!  I've missed you all, and I hope you're well! 

I'm writing to you all today to bring you up to date on some changes in our organizational structure here at P4.

In early 2017, P4 saw a flurry of activity.   We were thrilled to have our collection picked up by Dartmouth College's Rauner Library, and they are well on their way to becoming not only the home for P4's materials, but also building their holdings in slam poetry well beyond our collaboration.  See, for instance, their acquisition of the papers of legendary poet Jack McCarthy!

Passing our physical collection into the hands of professional curators and preservationists at Dartmouth was an important goal for us.  And once it was achieved, it was a chance for us all to take a bit of a breather.  One that all of us were definitely ready to take!

One of the challenges of our work is that it is an all volunteer effort, made up primarily of poets.  And poets are famous for having lives that are extremely busy and overcommitted, and which evolve and change faster than the weather.  This has definitely been true of the P4 leadership these past 18 months.

For instance, as many of you know, in June of 2017 I became an American expatriate, with my family's move to Montreal, Canada.  It's been an exciting and challenging time for me personally, and it's been far more consuming than I would have ever dreamed--not only due to the challenges arising from the immigration, but also due to the necessity to learn Quebcoise French.  I've discovered the whole process to be extremely humbling!  I'm half way through a French immersion process that will last the better part of a year, and requires as much as 50 hours a week of work.  At the same time, I'm working on my first novel and trying to continue work on my own poetry!  Whew!

At the same time, many members of our Board and leadership have gone through equally large life transitions, and P4 has faded into the background for many of us. 

The combination of our big success in moving our collection to Dartmouth, and the scaled back work by the organization's leadership, led us to make a decision this past September to officially end our organization's non-profit, 501(c)(3) status.  The biggest push toward this move was my move to Montreal, which left the organization without a dedicated US "resident agent" who was willing and capable of dealing with the overhead necessary to maintain our non-profit status.

Practically, this change won't affect our work to any significant degree.  The biggest change is that donations to P4 can no longer be considered tax deductible for our donors.  This is unfortunate, but for the past few years, we have been mostly self-funded through donations from our Board and leadership.  And (barring an unexpected donor!) we intend that this will continue to be the case.  But beyond this change, all our existing goals and aspirations remain unchanged.  The relinquishing of the non-profit overhead and paperwork should just make it easier for us to focus on those goals.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have supported us in the past, as a non-profit corporation.  And also to assure everyone that P4 will continue to work with our partners and the community to ensure the preservation of the history of the slam poetry movement.  There is still a great deal of work to do!

Who knows, maybe we can soon try to expand our holdings with slam poetry in French!  {:{)}


--Wess Mongo Jolley, President
  The Performance Poetry Preservation Project