Painted mural on side of bus

Community Outreach Projects

Because we believe good writing happens inside the community, the Community Writing Centers collaborate with community organizations to provide on-site workshops for community residents, along with community events that focus on writing. Our current and past workshops and events are listed below:

Justice Library, Community Read

We are gearing up to hold a community read on a book focusing on issues of racial justice in Bay City in spring 2021. It works like this: Community members select the book in March, the Bay City libraries will disseminate the books, and then conversations will occur in May and June. The project will also establish a racial justice Little Free Library in downtown Bay City. Our partners on this project are the Bay County Library System, Women in Leadership, and the Bay YWCA. The book that was chosen is All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely.

In January and February 2021, we helped sponsor a series of discussions of Octavia Butler’s Kindred, a timely and provocative read when it was published in 1979—and now, in the aftermath of the recent Black Lives Matter movement in our country, even more so. We were pleased to collaborate with the Saginaw Public Libraries (who provided free copies of the book), the Saginaw Art Museum; the Ezekiel Project; Leopard Print Books, Gifts, and Curiosities; and the Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum. Though our formal book discussions have concluded, various art projects related to Kindred continue.

For more information about all of these projects, visit http://www.justicelibrary.org/communityread/?fbclid=IwAR2UMxsAu2l78Fy_lCE-8KiAWG1ngn70Xqa4WP--dun4ZoSsoliG1JayvHw.

The Quarantine Chronicles Revisited

We are asking individuals who participated in 2020’s “Quarantine Chronicles” to look at their submission on the website, and write/create a response to the following question: what has changed for you in this past year? This response can be in any medium and any genre. We’re interested in continuing to archive the experiences of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic and to connect with one another through art and writing.

Participants are also asked to include a six-word sentence summarizing the year of the pandemic. These responses will be used for a poetry contest later this year—so stay tuned!

To see the Chronicles, visit https://www.saginawartmuseum.org/quarantinechronicles/.

Past Projects

Roethke Bus Mural

In Fall 2020, artist Pauly Everett painted a mural on the outside of a Saginaw city bus, as part of the upcoming 2022 Roethke Poetry and Arts Festival. This mural celebrates the legacy of Theodore Roethke and the city of Saginaw, created through a collaboration between the Saginaw Transit Authority and Regional Services (STARS), The Community Writing Center, and the Michigan Arts and Humanities Council.

"Dear Future President" Postcard Project

What would you like to say to the Future President of the United States? What are your hopes, your concerns, or your goals for this country? The "Dear Future President" Postcard Project encouraged writers to share their thoughts with the next President. Responses were no longer than 200 words. We collected all the postcards (print and electronic) and mailed them to our newly elected President on Inauguration Day. The deadline for submissions was November 1, 2020 (prior to the election).
 
"Dear Future President" postcard

"Saginaw, I Believe" Poetry Postcard Contest 2020

In 2020, we partnered with the Ezekiel Project to asked members of Saginaw to write about their city on postcards designed by Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy middle school students. Over 200 residents sent in postcards, which were displayed at the SVRC Marketplace in downtown Saginaw. Four poems were reprinted and mounted inside ten city buses then run throughout Saginaw County through the Saginaw Transit Authority Regional Services (STARS).

“The Quarantine Chronicles” 2020

The SVSU Center for Community Writing partnered with the Saginaw Art Museum and other community organizations to create “The Quarantine Chronicles,” a website featuring artwork and writing from members of the GLBR about their experience during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Poetry, poems, journal entries, artwork, photography, music, interviews, multi-media files, or other art captured what it feels like to live during this time. https://www.saginawartmuseum.org/quarantinechronicles/

Little Free Library at SVRC Marketplace 2020

In 2020, the SVSU Wolohan Fellows partnered with students from Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy to create artwork to decorate another LFL, which is located in the SVRC Marketplace in Saginaw. Stop by and take a book or leave a book!

Little Free Library at Wenonah Park 2019

 In 2019, a fourth-grade class from Bangor Elementary School worked with the SVSU Kanzler Fellows to design and create our first LFL, and the entire school conducted a book drive to stock the library with great books for all ages. This LFL is located at Wenonah Park in Bay City. Stop by and take a book or leave a book!

"Postcards to the Future Michigan Governor" 2018

During October 2018, the community writing centers, in conjunction with SVSU and the YWCA, sponsored a "Dear Future Michigan Governor" postcard campaign. Any Michigan resident was invited to use a pre-made postcard to share their thoughts, hopes, and/or concerns with the future governor of our state. Over 3,000 postcards were also distributed to 18 different school districts in Michigan. These postcards were collected and mailed to the incoming governor in January. These postcards have been featured in The Detroit Free Press.

Future Governor Postcard (301KB)   

"Write In" Creative Writing Workshops at the Saginaw County Youth Protection Council's Teen Homeless Shelter 2017

In the summer of 2017, the Saginaw Community Writing Center provided a creative writing workshop for homeless teens of Saginaw County. This workshop focused on personal writing and poetry, encouraging the participants to use creative writing as a form of self-expression. This program was sponsored by the Saginaw chapter of My Brother's Keeper.

"Postcards to the Future President" 2016 

During October 2016, the SCWC sponsored a "Dear Future President" postcard campaign. Any member of the Saginaw community was invited to use a pre-made postcard to share their thoughts, hopes, and/or concerns with the future leader of our country. These postcards were collected by October 31 (although a few filtered in after election day) and mailed to the White House on  January 11, Inauguration Day. Over 200 postcards were mailed from residents in the Saginaw community. 

SCWC DearFuturePresidentPostcardPDF (452KB)