Jason Rapp

‘Communal Pen’ to go virtual this weekend

Writing workshop in two parts returns May 9

Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop presented by the S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities, is coming back on Saturday, May 9 to help you write to celebrate memories, stories, and traditions of place… In a reimagined format!

SC HumanitiesWhat are the memories, stories and traditions that make your community home?

What landmarks, customs, sights and sounds connect us with family, friends and neighbors, while highlighting our unique experience and identity?

Sometimes, you’ve just got to write it down!


Facilitator EBONI RAMM will lead the virtual workshop as you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. Often, it is in our written words that memory lives. The writing process can itself help us to awaken and preserve thoughts and traditions, offering insight, understanding and respect to present and future generations.

Denmark Technical College is host of this four-hour writing workshop, which will be conducted over two, two-hour segments. It runs from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, May 9 and from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, May 16. The format is different, but it still draws inspiration from the Smithsonian exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America as a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place.

Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis online or call 803.771.2477. Walk-in registration is welcome as long as space permits. UPDATE: Please make sure you register by 4 p.m. on Friday, May 8. The new format does not support walk-ins as previous workshops have. Thank you.

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NOTE: marking yourself as “Going” on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen.

No previous experience necessary! We invite participants to view the exhibit before the workshop, and to pay special attention to those images and ideas that are most relatable you. On the day of the workshop, please bring a photo and/or object that has special meaning for you. This item will be used during a writing exercise.


The Communal Pen writing workshop is offered in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Crossroads: Change in Rural America. Crossroads is presented through the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program as part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming.

Communal Pen is developed through the S.C. Arts Commission’s place-based initiative, “Art of Community: Rural SC,” a new framework for engagement, learning, and action in rural communities. The writing workshops are coordinated through the SCAC’s Folklife & Traditional Arts and Community Arts Development programs, with generous support from the S.C. Humanities Council.


Deeply rooted in South Carolina, Communal Pen facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, she is a gifted vocalist known for her special blend of timeless jazz classics with a pinch of poetry. Ramm resides in Columbia, where she conducts jazz poetry workshops in schools, libraries, and various learning centers. She serves her community as Richland Library’s literary resident and as a teaching artist with ARTS ACCESS South Carolina and Youth Corps. She is a featured musician on SCETV’s education web portal, knowitall.org. Her publication Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson celebrates the ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case. Learn more at www.EboniRamm.com.

Communal Pen coordinator Laura Marcus Green is program specialist for community arts & folklife at the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she provides statewide outreach and project coordination through the “Art of Community: Rural SC” initiative and other projects, while managing folklife grant and award programs. . She holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University and an M.A. in Folklore/Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Selected prior positions include Community Engagement Coordinator for the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience, and work as a folklife fieldworker and researcher, writer, curator and consultant for the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.


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