top of page
Ridgelines Language Arts_art by Alyssa R

Founded as a 501c3 nonprofit in 2017, Ridgelines Language Arts provides expert language arts instruction to those who are underserved in the rural ridges and valleys of central Pennsylvania. We teach language arts—from poetry and storytelling to songwriting and journaling—in settings outside of academic institutions, including our area’s domestic violence shelter, low-income nursing home, youth detention center, state women’s prison, queer & trans youth groups, & more.


Ridgelines Language Arts programs offer participants, many of whom are impacted by stigma and injustice, with ways to explore their voices and their stories, exercise their creativity, and advocate for personal wellbeing and social change. We offer these programs because we believe that healthy individuals and just social conditions are sustained by the reflection, honesty, pleasure, and intimacy fostered by the study of language arts. 


Our work is four-fold:

community members write poetry together through Ridgelines Language Arts

We provide expert language arts instruction to those who are impacted by stigma and injustice in our region. We teach language arts—from poetry and creative writing to songwriting, civic writing and speaking, and storytelling—in settings outside of academic institutions. Our programs take place (or will take place!) in low-income nursing homes, prisons, youth shelters, immigrant and refugee communities, LGBTQA centers, veteran’s centers, and more.

nursing home residents write poetry in central PA

We create ways for our program participants to share their work through readings, performances, and other community events. We also occasionally host open writing workshops and fundraiser readings to benefit our core programs, and we partner with other organizations in our region to create informal ways for people from all walks of life to enjoy diverse language arts. 

poetry by low-income older adults in central PA

We design and publish broadsides, chapbooks, and zines that feature the work of our program participants. We share our publications through local libraries, coffee shops, community centers, living rooms, stores, museums, and other gathering spaces.

poetry recording booth for national poetry month in central PA

We bring the stories, poems, songs, and voices of our program participants to the central PA listening region and beyond through our podcast series, Use Your Words!

"As they become known and accepted to ourselves, our feelings, and the honest exploration of them, become sanctuaries and fortresses and spawning grounds for the most radical and daring of ideas, the house of difference so necessary to change and the conceptualization of any meaningful action." 

--Audre Lorde, "Poetry is Not a Luxury"


Visit with Ridgelines at the 2023 Alternative Christmas Fair hosted by the UBBC in State College

Sunday, December 3rd from 10:30 - 2pm

We'd love to see you there! Donations are also accepted online December 3rd through 17th. We're grateful to the UBBC for providing this opportunity for our community to support local nonprofits during the giving season.

Ridgelines will be taking a winter break

from December 20th through January 10th.

Have a restful season and we'll look forward to connecting again in the new year!

spring 2024 digital poetry workshop

with poet Ananda Lima

stay tuned for more information!

Ananda Lima _author photo.jpeg


2022 Community Poem Broadside incorporates contributions

from 85 different central Pennsylvanians!

Read it below and find it in public spaces throughout Centre County

6087_FirstDay_PoemPoster_OFF WHITE.jpg

Being Heard poems win first prizes at Grange Fair

We’re very happy to announce that our Being Heard creative writing group won first prize for both of the poems they entered in the Grange Fair senior crafts competition last summer! These entries were a true group effort, with poems written collaboratively by Being Heard members and then illustrated by other talented residents at Centre Care. Pictured above is proud Being Heard teaching artist Abby Minor visiting the prize-winning poems at the Fair.

Both of the Grange Fair prize-winning poems are included in the spring 2022 Being Heard booklet, which you can get a copy of by simply sending us a note with your mailing address and, if you’re not yet a 2022 donor, by making a donation of any amount.

Being Heard poems win first prize at Grange Fair 2022.jpeg
2022 spring Being Heard cover.jpg
Curtin Village 3.2022, writing.JPG

Ridgelines is supported in 2023 by a $10,000 Challenge America award from the National Endowment for the Arts!


To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit


Thanks to our community business sponsors​

bottom of page