The first time I met Sharoné I was leading a leadership development programme for first year university students. Sharoné performed one of her poems for the students, it spoke deeply to them and the journey they were on. They loved it. It was a perfect fit for where we were in the programme. Her presentation style is engaging, energizing, deep and moving.
On another programme I lead for women, I was asked to do a presentation on archetypal adolescent energy. I was looking for a creative way to begin the talk, and I wondered if Sharoné might write a poem specifically for my needs. She asked for a few guidelines on what I was looking for, and what I got back (very quickly as well) was an amazing poem. It added so much. Several women told me after that as I read the poem, different parts connected them deeply to their experience and the emotions and feelings of that time, which was exactly what I was after. For some I expect it was the highlight of the talk.
I feel it was an inspired moment when I asked Sharoné if this might be something she could and would do. She is a total pleasure to work with and her creativity, insight and expression has made a big contribution to me and to the people who have shared in it with me.
Facilitator & Trainer
Youth at Risk
Tula Lynch, the director of UnBox'D Arts, an arts project based in London
I requested for Sharoné Benjamin to write a poetic piece that would explain the vision and purpose of UnBox'D Arts. The idea was to take a new approach to writing a vision statement that would be more creative, interesting to read and easier for the reader to understand and digest. To do this Sharoné asked me to send her my personal thoughts and ideas behind starting this project as well as my aims for the future of it. Once this was done, she was then able to ask further, more specific questions to develop my thoughts into rhythmical lines of poetry.
Sharoné was very easy to work with. I hadn't given a heavy structure as far as deadlines went but she created her own and stuck to them. She also kept me up to date with the process and for the most part, contacted me about it more than I had to follow things up with her. She understood and translated my thoughts very easily and effectively to produce a piece that I was pleased with and that I felt happy to post on the UnBox'D website as a representation of my project.
Generally people who have read it and given feedback have responded positively to this piece. Some have commented that it was well put together and explained the ethos of UnBox'D Arts very well. I feel this is because there was a good collaboration of thoughts and much of I would have explained in a more plain way was brought to life through Sharoné's creative word play.
I had heard and read a number of Sharoné's written pieces before I asked her to do this poem and even asked her to share some of her work at an UnBox'D Arts event in 2010. I've heard her write about various things so requesting something of this nature presented a new challenge as it was not only writing about life situations but actually writing up a full mission statement, so there were numerous points that really needed to be expressed clearly. I feel this was done successfully, proving that she is a versatile and creative artist. I can personally say, if there was ever any other time I needed a poetic piece written for a specific occasion or purpose, I would have no problem asking Sharoné to produce this for me. I would also have no hesitations in recommending her skills to someone else.