Twelve Literary Arts is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) literary arts and education organization founded by Executive Artistic Director Daniel Gray-Kontar in May 2016. Twelve Literary Arts originated in a 750 square foot storefront space in Cleveland’s North Collinwood neighborhood.
At its inception, Twelve Literary Arts placed an emphasis on providing quality literary arts programming for youth and writing workshops for adults while operating as a small performance venue for emerging poets, hip-hop artists, and playwrights.
In 2017 the organization ceased operating as a small arts venue, choosing to focus on providing literary arts instruction to high-school-aged youth, supporting beginning to mid-career adult poets and writers with professional development, performance, and publishing opportunities, and broadening the audience for performance poetry in Northeast Ohio by bringing poetry to public spaces.
Today, Twelve Literary Arts are housed in a 4,000 square foot house in Cleveland’s historic Glenville neighborhood. The organization provides literary arts instruction and leadership development to elementary and high school-aged youth while offering an expanded slate of programming to adult poets, writers, and storytellers.
Working in collaboration with other community and arts organizations, Twelve Literary Arts has played a key role in making poetry more accessible to new audiences, developing a cadre of young talent committed to writing in and about Cleveland, and contributing to the local dialogue about the arts and social transformation.