Communal Pen celebrates ‘Voices & Votes’ in Laurens County

Naturalization at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, July 4, 2013; ©
Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello.

Communal Pen: Voices & Votes

Voting. It’s our most cherished form of civic engagement as U.S. citizens.

As the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street exhibition Voices and Votes: Democracy in America winds its way through South Carolina, the Communal Pen writing workshop series wants to know:

  • What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  • What does it mean to participate in the civic life of our community and nation?
  • What roles, rights, and responsibilities connect us with our fellow citizens, family, friends, and neighbors?

Let’s celebrate and explore our connections to place and community through the lens of our experience of civic life and identity.

Come and learn how to capture those thoughts with Communal Pen, a two-part virtual writing workshop on June 11 and 18, 2022. No previous experience is necessary, and the workshops are free and open to the public. Registration is required and spaces are limited.

Communal Pen is presented by South Carolina Humanities and the South Carolina Arts Commission, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution.

This version of the writing workshop is offered in conjunction with the Smithsonian exhibit, Voices and Votes: Democracy in America, on display at the Laurens County Museum from June 4 to July 16.

Communal Pen is returning to its two-part format with Voices & Votes:

  • June 11, 2022, noon to 2:30 p.m.
  • June 18, 2022, noon to 2 p.m.

Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis online or call Abby to register on 803.734.8680. This format does not support walk-ins as previous workshops have.

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

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 South Carolina Humanities.

Deeply rooted in South Carolina, “Communal Pen” writing workshop creator and facilitator EboniRamm fell in love with the arts at a very young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, an accomplished poet and jazz singer, she invites audiences of all ages to share her passion for combining these art forms, highlighting her belief in the powerful influence of jazz on the American literary experience and aesthetic. She has taught her unique Jazz Poetry Salon at residencies with the Richland County Public Library, Arts Access South Carolina, Youth Corps, Fairfield Middle School, McKissick Museum, and ColaJazz’s partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, among others. Other selected accomplishments include her publication, Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson, celebrating Eboni’s ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case, and the release of her poetry CD, Passion, and her jazz CD, The Look of Love. Learn more about Eboni at

Workshop coordinator Laura Marcus Green is program specialist for community arts & folklife at the S.C. 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 folklife & traditional arts program director at McKissick Museum, 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 various arts and culture agencies nationwide. Having attended, coordinated, and facilitated diverse workshops, she is a devoted believer in the power of community writing.