Walt Whitman (1819-1892) grew up and lived for many years in Brooklyn. The first edition of his literary masterpiece, Leaves of Grass, was published in Brooklyn Heights in 1855.The Walt Whitman Project, a Brooklyn-based community arts organization, is devoted to exploring the life and influence of this great American writer through readings of his poetry and prose and performances of musical compositions based on his works. Greg Trupiano is its founder and artistic director; Lon Black is the associate artistic director. They are residents of Brooklyn’s Columbia Street Waterfront District.
Past events of The Walt Whitman Project have taken place at and been co-sponsored with American Opera Projects at Dance Theater Workshop, Irving Park Fine Arts Committee in Chicago, Manhattan’s Theater Ten Ten, Brooklyn Borough Hall, Prospect Park YMCA, Pace University in Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn Heights Public Library, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Sarasota Opera House in Florida, Fire Lotus Temple in Boerum Hill, Walt Whitman Birthplace in Huntington, St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene Park, and on WBAI-FM radio. The Walt Whitman Project produced its first event in 2000.
The Walt Whitman Project will work with numerous organizations during the spring of 2005 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first edition of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. These organizations include Brooklyn Historical Society, Great South Bay YMCA in Bay Shore, Long Island, South Street Seaport Museum, and Brooklyn Museum.