An installation of “YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL” will be created to cover the side of the Art-In building (Madison, WI) for all to see but we need your help! Come enjoy music, drag performances, Sharpie tattoos, tarot card readings, refreshments, and raffles with wonderful prizes on October 6 as we raise cash for the upcoming You Are Beautiful mural!
Gratitude, love, and fairy dust owed to major support from the Madison Arts Commission.
Aesthetically diverse YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL murals have risen out of Illinois, Oregon, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, California, and as far as Italy. We are participating in a globally understood conversation. And we are bringing it to Madison!
This mural project will live in both its history and its future simultaneously: it honors the art of those before us while optimistically anticipating what those in our community can do for each other in the years to come.
The engineering and installation will be accomplished by Art In and ▶︎ the painting will be done by ArtWrite artists Alaura Seidl and Wendi Kent alongside local LGBTQIA+ youth. These youth, who will be recruited out of the queer and trans groups with which ArtWrite often partners, will form a youth leadership team committed to the project.◀︎
These youth will gain experience in public art making, recieve financial support for their art practices, and find a celebratory outlet in this work.
❤︎ We need your support! There are numerous ways you can help us make this a huge success besides attending:
We are still seeking donations as listed below:
★Businesses, organizations, and individuals to donate goods, gift cards, and services that can be raffled off
★Performers for entertainment
★Dollars sent through the internet machine here
★Want public recognition for your dollars? Corporate and individual sponsors can donate funds at the following levels. Get in touch at if you’d like to sponsor through cash or check. You’ll be recognized through social media announcements as well as at the ribbon cutting ceremony:
Frida Kahlo- $500
Isaac Julien- $300
Keith Haring- $250
Zackary Drucker- $100
Zanele Muholi- $75
Alvin Baltrop- $50
Please RSVP on Facebook or by contacting Wendi Kent ( or ArtWrite Collective (
Our city is pretty beautiful already but amplifying quieted voices through art can always make it more beautiful.
Music by Dana Perry, sharpie tattoos by Maggie Gosselar from Colt’s Timeless Tattos, tarot card readings from Maggie Madole and much more!

ArtWrite Artists Serve as Bubbler Artists-in-Residence

Artists Rhea Ewing, Jay Ludden, and Alaura Seidl of the ArtWrite Collective are the artists-in-residence at the Bubbler of Madison Public Library this April and May 2016!

Through our Imagining Worlds residency, we’ll dream up and visualize healthy and just futures alongside library patrons. Through giant books, talking paintings, expressive food, and other experiments, we’ll overtake the Bubbler with visions for what a thriving world might look, smell, taste, sound, and feel like. We’ll need your help building our otherwordly installations!

Find our schedule of workshops and open studio hours here or drop in to the Bubbler at Madison’s central library to contribute to ongoing projects.


^Youth and adults from Teen Pride Arts (cohosted by GSAFE and ArtWrite Collective), local gender & sexuality alliance clubs, and open studio hours at the Bubbler have been contributing to a wall of mirror self portraits. We imagine a world where everyone is seen and safe.


^Artist Jay Ludden set up an interactive display on the TV at the Bubbler room. Go walk in front of it and join our playful world!


^Folks from all over town are writing and drawing about their ideas for the perfect world. Add your ideas to the wall!


^We imagine a world where everyone is allowed to take up space. Drop in and get your self portrait up on the Bubbler window (through friendship and magic)!


^A Bubbler visitor helped us install art pieces in the hall across from the Bubbler for the youth homelessness campaign project that we’ve been working on. These small art pieces were made by teens all over town to share messages of hope and compassion for folks experiencing housing insecurity. Some folks shared their personal experiences of camping out, staying with strangers, couch surfing. Drop in to the Bubbler room to see the companion piece, a traveling mural, in progress. Keep an eye out for the campaign to officially launch!

Flourish! Spring 2016 Creative Development Series

Flourish! is a program designed to empower artists, writers, and performers by providing information about fair pricing, intellectual property, and biases in the art world. We’ll roll out Facebook events for each workshop, with ticket information on each event page. Sign up for one workshop, a few, or the entire series! Hope to see you there.

Facebook links (with facilitator bios, ticket information, and more):

March 7 – Marketing: It’s Not Just for Capitalists! (buy tickets here)

March 14 – Professionalism & Productivity on a Dime (buy tickets here)

March 28 – “What do I charge?” Pricing Your Creative Labor (buy tickets here)

April 4 – Ethics of Curriculum Development (buy tickets here)

April 11 – Intellectual Property (buy tickets here)

April 18 – Artist Residencies (held 7-9pm) (buy tickets here)

April 25 – Performance & 4D Art (buy tickets here)

May 2 – Art as Activism (buy tickets here)

May 9 – Taxes for Artists (buy tickets here)

May 16 – Mental Health and Creativity (buy tickets here)

Buy tickets for the entire series of workshops here.



“What Kind of Poem Would You Make Out of That?”

“What Kind of Poem Would You Make Out of That?”:
Transformation at the Source: From Document to Poem

Hosted by ArtWrite Collective, facilitated by Lauren Russell.

Johannesburg Mines

In the Johannesburg mines
There are 240,000
Native Africans working.
What kind of poem
Would you
Make out of that?
240,000 natives
Working in the
Johannesburg mines.

–Langston Hughes

Documentary poetry “arises from the idea that poetry is not a museum-object to be observed from afar, but a dynamic medium that informs and is informed by the history of the moment,” Philip Metres writes in an essay on the Poetry Foundation’s website.[1] As such, the documentary mode invites socially conscious approaches to poem making. For purposes of our workshop, we are thinking in terms of poems that use documents, not just poems that document. While it can be a site for political intervention, poets’ work with documents need not be confined to recitations of facts and evidence. Through the found language of documents, poets may arrive at the lyric, the narrative, the investigatory, the confessional, the dissident, or even the language poem.

Intended for both experienced poets and people who do not think of themselves as writers at all, this six-part workshop will open participants up to new possibilities for poem making while raising discussion about authorship, influence and quotation versus appropriation, the construction of “fact,” and how we can make new statements with/through/into/around old language. Participants will be invited to arrive with a particular event, question, topic, or concern they wish to write from. (For example, in the poem above, Hughes is working from a statistic about the Johannesburg mines that speaks to larger issues about colonialism and exploitation; in M. NourbeSe Philip’s ZONG!, the point of entry is the legal decision in the Zong massacre; in Muriel Rukeyser’s The Book of the Dead, it is a West Virginia mining disaster; in Tyehimba Jess’s Leadbelly, it is of course the mythologized figure of the great bluesman Lead Belly).

Is there a particular life or death, innovation, disaster, struggle, condition, triumph, or crime you wish to write into or out of? Participants will use that as a point of entry to work with found texts of their choice. Found texts might include histories, genealogies, studies, news items, articles, ads, obituaries, lists, diaries, statistics, court transcripts—or whatever else sparks a writer’s curiosity and imagination. Through weekly in-class and outside activities, we will engage with those texts in a variety of ways. We will also read and discuss a range of models, which may include excerpts from Philip’s Zong, Jess’s Leadbelly, Rukeyeser’s Book of the Dead, Mark Nowak’s Shut Up Shut Down, Harryette Mullen’s Sleeping with the Dictionary, Amaud Jamaul Johnson’s Red Summer, Daphne Gottlieb’s Kissing Dead Girls, and others. Participants will have the opportunity to read and discuss one another’s work each week and to contribute to a zine and public reading after the conclusion of the workshop.

The workshop will be a series of six three-hour sessions, meeting every Sunday 2p-5p from January 31st through March 6th, with a zine release and reading later in March. Workshops will be hosted at the Arts + Literature Laboratory (ALL) at 2021 Winnebago St, Madison, WI.

$150-$250 sliding scale. Scholarship funding may be available upon request. Applications due January 15th, 2016. Attendance cap: 10. 


Lauren Russell has taught writing courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at the University of Pittsburgh, where she received a Distinguished Teaching Award. She currently coordinates the Diversity Internship in Public History at the Wisconsin Historical Society. Russell’s first full-length book, What’s Hanging on the Hush, will be out from Ahsahta Press in 2017. She is the author of the chapbook Dream-Clung, Gone (Brooklyn Arts Press), and her poems have appeared in Better, boundary 2, jubilat, Ping•Pong, and Tarpaulin Sky, among others. Her reviews may be found in Aster(ix), The Volta, Jacket2, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from Cave Canem and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and she has been named the 2016 VIDA Fellow to the Home School Miami. Russell is currently in the middle of a book-length poetic hybrid work, tentatively entitled “Descent.” The project began when the poet acquired a copy of the diary of her great-great grandfather, a Confederate veteran who fathered twenty children by three of his former slaves, black women who have been silenced by history. “Descent” is at once an investigation, a reclamation, and an insistence on making history as a creative act.

[1] Philip Metres. “From Reznikoff to Public Enemy,” 5 Nov. 2007, Poetry Foundation, 14 Dec. 2015. <;

Daughters in Dissent: A Visual Celebration of Herstories, Kinship, and Sistahood

ArtWrite Collective and West Label Art are collaborating to premier the stunning works of West Label Artists Ashley Robertson and Micaela Berry in Daughters in Dissent: A Visual Celebration of Herstories, Kinship, and Sistahood.

In their first joint show, Ashley and Micaela employ their own unique styles to engage in multi-media storytelling with works that explore relationships, cross-generational beauty standards, black women voices in protest, and the artists’ lived experiences as Black women and Madison newcomers. This series demonstrates the deep variation in perspectives on these shared experiences and underscores the complexity of identity.

Reception is December 11, 2015 6p-8p at Cafe Zoma in Madison, WI


Announcing: Exhibition + Demonstration Opportunity at Cafe Zoma


The ArtWrite Collective will begin curating art exhibits at Cafe Zoma for shows beginning November 2015! With a particular interest in public aesthetic diversification, ArtWrite is requesting show proposals from emerging artists and established creatives alike. Especially encouraged to apply are artists working to effect social change or producing work consistent with a social justice platform. Whether you’re using art as a tool for disseminating information, catalyzing conversation, telling your story, or exploring new futures – we want to hear from you.

Solo shows, side-by-side solo shows, and group shows are all potential options for participating in this space as a visual artist. Coffee shop exhibits will rotate once a month and each show will include a public event. This event can be a classic art reception, a poetry night, a workshop, a performance, or some other demonstration. We are open to proposals from creatives who may be able to contribute to one of these events or produce experiences that do not simply reside on the wall.

To learn more, check out the simple online application or reach out to

*photo cred to Rachel Dolnick

Dreamzine: Liminal Messages Release and Reading at Pheasant Branch Conservancy


Please join ArtWrite Collective at Pheasant Branch Conservancy for a starlit outdoor release and reading of Dreamzine: Liminal Messages, featuring visionary art and writing for social change. All content will be the culmination of a three-part workshop series led by Marcelle Richards, during which participants work closely with nature and the spirit world during their creative processes.*

An usher will meet guests promptly at 4:30pm at the gravel county parking lot on the west end of Pheasant Branch Conservancy. See map here — point A.

From there, guests will be taken to the performance site at the top of Fredericks Hill. Please arrive on time; we will depart up the hill as a group. Dress for the weather and plan to walk about 15 minutes up a gentle, winding incline. Please bring your own lawn chair and/or blankets; the setting will be intentionally rustic. A few flashlights will be on hand but you may also choose to bring your own for the walk back down the hill at the end of the night — it will be dark. Parking is limited, so we encourage carpooling.

RSVPs via Facebook are greatly appreciated so we can report an estimated attendance count to the county park staff.

Please contact Marcelle Richards with questions about navigation, logistics, etc. (608) 287-4740.

*(We are accepting applicants for the three-part workshop series through Sept. 15. To apply, fill out this form.)