HATCH is a network of world-shapers that mentor and mutually invest in one another. As positive things happen #becauseOfHATCH, the tag is used to help track the many projects and initiatives that grow from HATCH to create a global movement for good.
Matthew Lillard is a well-known actor, celebrated most recently for his role in the revival of David Lynch’s iconic series Twin Peaks. But one of his deep personal passions is using the power of creativity and social fellowship to tackle modern social issues.
At HATCH Big Sky in 2016, Matthew was connected with the kindred hearts and minds to put his ideas to HATCH a better world into action. Matthew’s first experiences at HATCH inspired him to create 5 Jamma Slamma, a poetry slam for kids living in the foster care system.
Five Acres in Pasadena California is group home for “at risk” kids, on their last stop before being institutionalized in a juvenile detention center or another bastion of the criminal justice system. Matthew saw the potential of giving these kids a creative outlet and new means of self-expression by introducing them to the power of poetry – he just needed help figuring out exactly how that would work.
Within moments of sitting down to write out his ideas, Matthew was approached by fellow HATCHer Jenny Sheets, asking him to ‘teach her how to perform poetry.’ They both saw it as a “sign” from the Universe and decided to sit together and ‘crush this idea’ of creating the poetry slam. Forty minutes later they completed an outline for the event and how it would work.
From that initial conversation, 5 Jamma Slamma was born. Following HATCH, Matthew returned to Los Angeles and pitched his newly HATCHed idea to the Five Acres administrative team. He then personally matched the $5k budget the organization had to invest in the project, and got to work producing the event. He started by asking other artists to help mentor the 5 Acres kids. He called on several internationally recognized slam poets and musicians to bring their talents to bear. Steve Connell (Hatch newbie 2017) and Butterscotch (HATCH alumni) as well as a dozen others artist, answered the call to action.
September 12, 2017
The video of the event made its way to YouTube, reaching the head of a charitable foundation that offered to fund the entire event in its second year. As of now, Matthew is producing a $70K version of 5 Jamma Slamma and creating year-round access to the kids of 5 Acres to poetry coaching with the local spoken word performance group Say Word.