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:
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.
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 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/
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!
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!
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)
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.
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.
We held a community read on a book focusing on issues of racial justice in Bay City in spring 2021. It worked like this: Community members selected the book in March, the Bay City libraries disseminate over 130 copies of the book, and then conversations occurred 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 was 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.