Find our zines online!

While we work to build a new website (and work to get our zines up for e-viewing), we’ve got a temporary one-stop-shop to check out our zines online. This collection doesn’t include our strictly youth publications, but it’ll get you set up with some early winter browsing. Sliding scale zine donations support the artists and our programming.



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.)

Blink: Mirror Portraits Project

Through the ArtWrite Collective, lead artist Alaura Seidl coordinated the Mirror Portraits Project, a temporary public art exhibition where teen and mid-career artists drew their self portraits and displayed narrative writing on public mirrors. This piece was installed as a BLINK project of the Madison Arts Commission on August 12th and 13th, 2015.

Self portraits were drawn in dry erase marker on Madison Public Library mirrors and were intended to offer a glimpse into the lives of our neighbors. For LGBTQIA+ folks, people of color, immigrants, and women, displacement is a persistent experience. Because our community has averted its collective gaze long enough, particular experiences and people are either made invisible or are subject to over exposure on a regular basis. In the mirrors project, participating artists had control of their image, their narrative, and the stories they chose to share with strangers. While more than a few artist-participants shared their experiences with housing insecurity or homelessness, this crew of artists came to the project with vastly different life stories and motivations for participating. How might seeing your own reflection in their work have implicated you in their stories?

Participating artists:

Tawania Alston


Sisa Poemape

Marcelle Richards

Alaura Megan Seidl

Karena Ware

Sofia Ware

One artist’s written contribution:

“When I stand next to you at the grocery store can you tell that I’m struggling?

Struggling with housing, struggling with depression, struggling with life.

When I sit next to you in class do you know that everyday I feel like a prisoner?

A prisoner to my everyday feelings, a prisoner to my society, a prisoner to my skin color, a prisoner to my past.

When I walk past you, can you see through me?

The tears building up behind my eyes, the stress on my heart, the restlessness inside?

When you look into my eyes, can you see my life?

The frustration, anger, and pain?

Can you see any of it?”

-Tawania Alston












Drink It In!

drink it in bannerArtWrite’s Drink It In [open mic – art reception – zine release] at Cafe Zoma on July 10 was an inspiring night of queer poetry, readings, music, and creative expression. The Collective was happy to host a night were LGBTQIA+ artists and our allies could shape and control our narratives and share them with community. Sincere thank you to all who participated and all who came out to drink it in.

Artists shor salkas, Rolando Cruz, Nicole Bresnick, Alaura Seidl, and Jay Ludden were visual artists represented in the show on Cafe Zoma’s walls. Keep an eye out for more Queer Summer Art treats to pop up at Shamrock Bar & Grille on August 7th!

drink it in queerzine

drink it in queerzine

Purchase your copy of the queerzine here and support local art and local programming for LGBTQIA+ youth!

Marcelle at the open mic

Marcelle at the open mic

Sisa at the Open Mic

Sisa at the Open Mic

Bridget at the Open Mic

Bridget at the Open Mic

Mirror Portraits: BLINK Project Funded by Madison Arts Commission!

The Madison Arts Commission is sponsoring an upcoming public art project for The ArtWrite Collective! Keep an eye out for self-portraits drawn by members of our community popping up on mirrors throughout Madison; participating artists are exploring ideas of visibility/invisibility, displacement, and voice in the context of their own experiences. Artists hope to interrupt the daily routines of passersby with their portraits and stories.

This is a BLINK project; expect the drawings with accompanying narratives to pop up in spaces one weekend in late June and then vanish within days.

We’ll keep you posted on installation sites. Want to participate by hosting a portrait at your business or public building? Do you feel that you’ve been historically welcoming to our diverse community? Reach out to lead artist Alaura at theartwritecollective @

blink mirrors award

Second-Place Winner in National Mural Contest for Runaway and Homeless Youth

FullSizeRender 29

Congratulations to Briarpatch Youth Services in Madison, Wisconsin, second-place winner of the 2015 Family & Youth Services Bureau Mural Contest for Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs.*

For the fifth year, runaway and homeless youth programs funded by the bureau were given the chance to win the materials to paint a mural in their facilities. A jury of bureau staff and young people from Los Angeles LGBT Center, last year’s winning agency, picked the winner and two finalists. A slideshow of murals can be found here.

Briarpatch Youth Services’ transitional living cooperative, endearingly called GoldenEye, is a house for young people ages 18-22 years old who have aged out of foster care or experienced homelessness. This cooperative is a unique service preventing homelessness among young people in Dane County, Wisconsin. Briarpatch began partnering with The ArtWrite Collective in Fall 2014 to bring resiliency-nourishing arts programming to youth in this cooperative. Briarpatch youth are working with artists to plan zines, design stop motion animation videos, screen print, talk about issues that are important to them and have fun together.

For this mural contest, ArtWrite supported the transitional living cooperative members who had a lot to say about the experiences of teens on the street and homelessness among youth. While brainstorming themes for this mural, one member said that, “People are quick to judge. Many youth are still in school or trying to get a GED, and we have things to take care of. We are determined to get out of this situation, and we have hard skin. Adults like to say that you have nothing to stress about because you’re just a kid. We stress more because of that. We are…what’s the word? Resilient.”

Members of the cooperative are interested in the idea of visibility or invisibility for the experiences of youth. “We Are Here” is the title of this mural design. From the top down, you will see explicit demands, like “Don’t Neglect Our Innocence.” Next, we see hands rising out of the city skyline to represent young people on the streets and all over the city. The red and orange cutouts represent different services for homeless populations around Madison, WI.

Under the red buildings, we see a glass dome. One of our members, Karena, played with ideas of an abstract landscape in which the dome was a close up of a classroom in Madison. Karena, “K”, “F”, Josh and other members of the cooperative want to show that not everyone is going through the same thing while sitting in school. While some are thinking about their crush, others might be thinking about where they are going to sleep or how they will pay for their cap and gown.

In the final mural project, members of the cooperative would like to write positive messages around the edges of the mural about how Madison can better support the strong, resilient youth who make up the city. Multiple youth brainstormed themes for this mural and drew, glued or helped design this mixed media project. Members of the transitional living cooperative would like to invite younger people who are going through hard times to help paint this mural with them when the winter season lets up as a community outreach project that they lead.

*It is important to note that this design was drafted before we were able to discuss the ramifications of language like “All Lives Matter” in the face of the hugely important movement for Black Lives Matter; while the teens’ intentions were to advocate for the intersecting experiences of all people, including youth of color experiencing housing insecurity, they have chosen to remove this language from any future iterations of the project to respect the unique significance of the phrase Black Lives Matter—there are more productive ways to indicate these intersections of identity and experience without co-opting the movement’s language.