Matt Wolf

Bethlehem, PA

I have more stories regarding the positive influence of the arts on my life than I can count. Here’s one in particular that changed the course of my life.

After attending college I worked in the Marvine/Pembroke housing development for four years running youth programs. While employed at the Northeast Ministry I had programs for elementary, middle, and high school youth. I used to like to take the high school students out of their neighborhood on mini-trips especially to local universities.

One evening we ventured out to Lafayette College to see a jazz poet. I was currently falling in love with Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and John Coltrane so the evening held promise for all of us. When I saw this poet from Ohio recite his words with the jazz backing a light bulb went on inside of me. I wanted to do this furthermore I knew I COULD do this.

That was the night, influenced by Ginsberg, Kerouac and that poet at Lafayette, that I started my journey writing poetry. 20 years later I have read poetry to thousands of people and hosted over 40 poetry and multi-media events locally. Going out to experience the arts is the beautiful risk. One you take knowing you have an interest but not knowing the plethora of ways the arts will enrich and change your life.