The festival is part of Harvard-Westlake’s commitment to equity and inclusivity; to purpose beyond ourselves; and to service to our Los Angeles community.
All Los Angeles high school students are welcome at the festival; our outreach focus is on students from LAUSD schools, and on underserved communities and populations throughout our city. Wider Than The Sky is made possible by Harvard-Westlake donors.
Wider Than The Sky was inaugurated in the fall of 2014; the first festival featured keynote speakers Douglas Kearny and Sharan Strange.
The second festival, in April 2016, featured keynote speaker Jacqueline Woodson and workshop leaders including Janice Lee, Ashaki Jackson, Steven Reigns, and Harvard-Westlake alum Teddy Macker. Hundreds of students attended, including nearly 200 students from LAUSD high schools.
Wider Than The Sky 2017 featured keynote speaker Claudia Rankine, workshops led by renowned poets from around the country, and an evening reading with Rankine.
Wider Than The Sky 2018 featured keynote speaker Richard Blanco, acclaimed poet, and Kaveh Akbar, founder of Divedapper, and many others. Blanco gave a public reading at The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles.
Wider Than The Sky 2019 will keynote speakers from The Dark Noise Collective. More details to follow soon.