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Creative 360 Opens A Celebration of Voices with Active Writing Workshops

Creative 360 Opens A Celebration of Voices with Active Writing Workshops

September 26, 2022, Midland, MI. – On Friday, October 7 through Sunday, October 9th, Creative 360 welcomes artists Stephanie Heit and Petra Kuppers who will offer a weekend of workshops that engage senses, curiosity, and creativity to explore and experiment with different modes of expression. The events kick off the year-long Celebration of Voices project at Creative 360 funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

On Friday evening at 7 pm in the Bayliss Street Gallery, guests can join Stephanie and Petra for An Evening of Disability Culture: Readings & Performances which will offer poetry, fiction, movement and more in an event that will invite and celebrate creative expression.

“Guests who attended the artists’ talk for our Breaking the Stigma Exhibition this past winter will recognize Stephanie as the powerful poet who was part of that show,” said curator and program director Colleen Reed. “We knew we wanted to bring Stephanie and her partner, Petra, back to Midland to share more of their important and exciting work with our community.”

Friday night’s event will be followed by Open Attention: An Interdisciplinary Weekend of Sensory Play, three active writing and arts workshops happening Saturday and Sunday

Writing Workshop 1 will take place at the East Ashman Galleries from 11 am until 1 pm on Saturday, October 8th and participants will use sensory experiences and writing experiments as starting points for writing in all genres.  From 3-5 pm on Saturday, the artists will offer a Sensorial Forest Experience at the Chippewa Nature Center, using breath, movement, and the senses to fully explore the surroundings, both individually and as a group.  And on Sunday, October 9th, from 11 am until 1 pm, Writing Workshop 2 will be a generative workshop using environment and interaction as starting points for writing.  Each workshop can be signed up individually.

Heit, a queer disabled poet, dancer, and teacher, grew up in Midland where she took her first creative movement class with Linda Z. Smith. She is a Zoeglossia Fellow, shock/psych system survivor, bipolar, and a member of the Olimpias, an international disability performance collective. Her powerful poetry collections invite the reader inside psychiatric wards and shock treatments and explore the seams of language, movement, and mental health difference. Kuppers, a disability culture activist, writer, and a community performance artist, grounds herself in disability culture methods and engages audiences toward more socially just and enjoyable futures. She is the Anita Gonzalez Collegiate Professor of Performance Studies and Disability Culture at the University of Michigan and has published poetry and science fiction. Together they created Turtle Disco, a somatic writing studio in Southeast Michigan.

“A Celebration of Voices honors and supports every artist’s unique voice,” said executive director Laura Vosejpka. “All experience levels are welcome at these workshops – the only thing necessary is a desire to cultivate and explore your authentic self.”

A $15 donation is requested for participation, but Stephanie, Petra, and Creative 360 want to ensure that all who are interested can participate. Please do not let the donation request keep you from signing up! You can sign up online at becreative360.org, click on Register, or by calling the arts center at 989-837-1885.

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