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Telling a Good Story

Resource type: Grantee Story

Open mic nights at The Chewstick Foundation feature performances by artists like Joy who help to raise awareness of social issues in Bermuda and amplify voices for change. Atlantic seeks to strengthen key social organisations on the island. Photo: The Chewstick Foundation

Atlantic’s support in Bermuda has strengthened the capacity of the island’s nonprofit sector by encouraging traditional nonprofits to become social advocates, developing nascent organisations into leaders and facilitating collaboration among organisations to advance shared agendas. With Atlantic’s support, The Chewstick Foundation, among others, has become a leader in creating social change.

“Bermuda has been going through a shell shock crisis in the past four years. There have been over 200 shootings in the past two years and 30 murders. There was a shooting last night, in fact. There is an increasing need for demographics to be broken down and to get to know each other and find safer ways to interact that don’t involve violence.”
– Gavin Smith, Executive Director and Founder
(Spring 2012)

The Chewstick Foundation:

  • Started in 2003 as a spoken-word forum using poetry, storytelling and music as tools to mirror the Bermudian experience and amplify voices for change
  • Expanded to apply these techniques to school and prison programmes
  • Convenes performers and the community, including at-risk young people and other nonprofits
  • Organises youth development programmes, engaging 50–70 young people per month
  • Organises retreats and an annual music and spoken word event that draw more than 10,000 people.


Giving While Living: Marking 30 Years of Achievements: 1982–2012

> Read more stories of impact in our 30th anniversary publication


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The Chewstick Foundation