Communal Pen marks in-person return next month in Aiken

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

Communal Pen Voices & Votes: Aiken County

  • Saturday, Aug. 13
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Aiken County Historical Museum (433 Newberry St. SW, Aiken)
  • Lunch provided at no cost. You will make your menu selection on the registration form.
  • Local hosts:
    • Friends of the Aiken County Historical Museum
    • Second Baptist Church of Aiken
  • Click here to register now!

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?

Come learn how to capture those thoughts with Communal Pen.

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

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

It is offered in conjunction with the Smithsonian exhibit, Voices and Votes: Democracy in America, on display at the Aiken County Historical Museum from July 23 to Sept. 3.

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.

Who we are

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.