Al Letson, A Local Point of Pride, in Running for Grant

October 7, 2010 3 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Local writer, poet, and radio personality, Al Letson's State of the Re:Union has been selected as a candidate for a $50,000 Arts & Culture grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project - a national, socially innovative effort that will award more than $20 million this year to fund great ideas that improve America's communities. State of the Re:Union is the only Jacksonville-based project currently in the running. Join us for the details and learn how you can help one of our brightest local talents win this national grant!

Through the Refresh Project, Pepsi will fund ideas designed to move the world forward in six categories: Health, Arts & Culture, Food & Shelter, The Planet, Neighborhoods and Education.

Every month, throughout 2010, the Pepsi Refresh Project will feature projects that show significant social engagement around people and the power of ideas; Winning projects will receive funding between $5,000 and $250,000. Anyone is able to submit an idea; and folks are able to vote on each idea once a day. The Pepsi Refresh Project launched on January 13 and exceeded expectations by receiving the monthly limit of 1,000 submissions in less than seven days.

State of the Re:Union is a perfect fit for the Pepsi Refresh Project as the show is centered around telling the stories of community. From Brooklyn, NY to Espanola, New Mexico, in each episode Letson focuses on a specific city or area to examine what makes community, while giving a voice to the people that bring it together.

Readers of MetroJacksonville are no strangers to Al Letson.

The State of the ReUnion

One of the beautiful things about Al's show is that where much of today’s news and media highlight the divisions and conflicts that separate us, State of the Re:Union explores the themes, stories, challenges and cultural components that links us all as a people.

With a dose of spoken word, and a backdrop consisting of the music, sounds and styles born of the area in focus, noted slam poet Al Letson speaks with the artists, activists, politicians, teachers, preachers and every day people who are making a difference. State of the Re:Union is heard on over 120 NPR stations across the United States, as well as online at

With the $50,000 Pepsi Refresh Project funding secured, Al would be able be able to cover travelling costs, contract workers (i.e. photographers, videographers), website design and interactive media support, and advertising and marketing products.

His entry in the Pepsi Refresh Project is for the month of October; thus the last day to vote is October 31. To vote for State of the Re:Union once a day, every day, individuals can visit!