Cheyenne Pac-Taylor performs a poem she wrote at Thursday s culminating event of a three-day arts residency program for the class of 2015 led by the
Cheyenne Pac-Taylor performs a poem she wrote at Thursday s culminating event of a three-day arts residency program for the class of 2015 led by the Dialogue Arts Project in partnership with WordXWord at Pittsfield High School. (Stephanie Zollshan / Berkshire Eagle Staff / photos.berkshireeagle.com)

PITTSFIELD -- About a dozen juniors braved the stage at Pittsfield High School on Thursday not to perform a play but to share their words and thoughts through original poetry.

Thursday's event was the culmination of a three-day workshop presented through the Dialogue Arts Project (DAP), the Pittsfield-based WordXWord project and a STARS Residency grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

DAP founder and spoken word poet Adam Falkner visited the school back in October to lead a day of workshops and give a performance, and returned to PHS this week to help more than 200 rising seniors more deeply explore words and expressions of self-awareness and themes of social diversity. This time he was also joined by collaborator and fellow spoken word poet Carlos Andres Gomez.

PHS Principal Matt Bishop said he hopes the program fostered a sense of eagerness to be good communicators and positive, proactive problem-solvers among the participants, who will lead the school next year.