Podium Foundation’s Huguenot Club Shines

Contributed by Sarah DiPeppe

A Podium student at Hugenot rehearses.

Podium Foundation, a non-profit located on Hull St. downtown, works with the Richmond Public School system to initiate and advocate for liberal arts programs in public schools.

As a part of Podium’s initiative, they have created many after schools clubs—Podium Clubs—for those

Write. Recite. Rehearse!

students wanting to express themselves through art, poetry, writing and acting.

While there are multiple clubs throughout the city, Huguenot High School’s Podium Club has been especially dedicated within the last month.

Upon completing their showcase slam poetry event on June 1, the students have asked to continue

It takes a lotta guts to get up in front of people and present--especially for high schoolers. Thanks to Podium these skills are honed at Hugenot.

club meetings into the summer, and even possibly on the weekends.

“They just won’t go home,” laughs Podium Executive Director Lindy Bumgarner. “On a more serious note, the students’ dedication and that of their teacher is really inspiring.”

When asked whether or not she felt Podium Club was a positive addition to Huguenot’s after-school programs, club member Ashley Short replied, “There aren’t a lot of other activities besides sports, so it’s nice to have an outlet for emotions and feelings.” Short added that “Some kids don’t have anywhere to go after school, so it’s nice to have somewhere to go that’s effective and positive.”

Practice makes perfect!

The students in the Huguenot club put on their graduation showcase slam poetry event, “The HUGuEnot Lyrical Movement,” earlier this month.  The entire event was student-planned and student-executed. From the auditions, to the readings, to the small skit, to the intricate work backstage, the students did it all!

“It was truly a podium-student-centric event,” says Bumgarner.

While the Movement was a success at Huguenot, the students will get an opportunity to perform again later this month at the annual CultureWorks sponsored Cultsha Xpo at the Science Museum of Virginia.

Shyliq Bryant, a rising sophomore at Huguenot, read his poetry at the HUGuEnot Lyrical Movement but has something special for the Huguenot club’s performance at Cultsha Xpo.

“Podium isn’t just about writing down poetry, it’s about learning about others,” says Bryant, who is excited to see and hear the performers from other high schools next Saturday.

Come support Podium as well as the Huguenot Club’s success on Saturday, June 23rd at the CultshaXpo.

It’s free, fun, and perfect for families.

Grab a Podium Journal, or a limited edition t-shirt at the Podium booth, browse through other art, and catch the Huguenot Club’s performance on the IMAX stage at 1:15 pm.

Contact Podium to become involved or to contribute.