OUR MISSION: The Nantucket Comedy Festival is a non-profit organization that uses comedy to empower, engage, and inspire through its annual festival and the year-round Stand Up & Learn workshops.
OUR VISION is a community connected by laughter.
OUR HISTORY: The Nantucket Comedy Festival began in 2007 when professional stand-up comedian Kevin Flynn was devastated to learn that a rash of teen suicides had shaken the Nantucket community. Kevin knew there was healing power in laughter, so he set his heart on applying it to the tragedy-stricken island. In doing so, Kevin began creating a series of comedy lessons and instructing school-aged Nantucket children in the art of stand-up comedy.
Encouraged by the personal growth he witnessed in his students as well as the positive responses from their parents and teachers, Kevin knew he was onto something. Like any big project, continuation of the lessons would require funding. Kevin gathered a group of his nationally-recognized stand-up comic friends and asked if they would be willing to donate their time and talent at a Festival that would support the kids’ comedy program. The comics generously obliged. The following summer, the very first Nantucket Comedy Festival brought laughter to a community that was in need of its restorative impact. The event was a huge hit, and attendees asked for another Festival the following summer. Kevin had to give the people what they wanted. Best of all, Festival proceeds went to launching another year of Stand Up & Learn workshops for island children. They still do, and they always will.
OUR FUTURE: Proceeds from the Nantucket Comedy Festival benefit Stand Up & Learn, the innovative educational program implemented in schools to encourage confidence and comedic self-expression through creative writing. The program provides a series of videos and interactive worksheets, giving teachers and students the tools they need to begin writing and practicing stand-up comedy in their classrooms. Stand Up & Learn workshops engage students in creative writing, communication, and critical thinking as well as team and confidence building. It is one of the first stand-up comedy program developed for high school students with an emphasis on writing comedic stories and bits. The program is currently being implemented with Nantucket students, The Gateway School in New York City, the Deveraux Glenholme School in Washington, Connecticut, and at the Cape Cod Conservatory. We are very excited that Stand Up & Learn will soon reach students nationwide.