Ridgelines Language Arts_art by Alyssa R

Founded as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2017, Ridgelines teaches and celebrates language arts that lift up under-heard voices in the ridges and valleys of central Pennsylvania. Through programs, events, publications, and podcasts, we empower new language artists and ensure that our region’s language arts run strong with many voices, experiences, and imaginations. 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"


'Witness as Study':

Summer Creative Writing Series at Rhoneymeade

with Carolyne Meehan

next workshop: Sunday, June 26, 2022



learn more & register here!


'A Poem in Our Eyes'

 Exhibition at 
Betsy Rodgers Allen Gallery
Schlow Library in 
State College, PA
June 2022


Drop in to Schlow Library throughout the month of June to enjoy poems written by residents of Centre Care Nursing Home’s memory care unit in response to artworks by artists with ties to Centre County. Both the poems and the artworks will be on display, forming an exhibition that sets verbal and visual art in conversation, honors the imaginations of those living with memory loss, and challenges conventional notions of disability. 

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Read the latest poems and stories from Being Heard!

This latest Being Heard booklet celebrates new poems from the writing group at Centre Care Rehabilitation and Nursing.





To order your copy, please email us! Booklets are free for Ridgelines donors; if you're not already a donor, you can easily become one by making a donation of any amount.

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Ridgelines has been approved for a $10,000 Challenge America award from the National Endowment for the Arts to support our literary arts programs in 2022!

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Thanks to our community business sponsors​