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Jason Rapp

Communal Pen series explores ‘Musical Pathways’

Virtual summer learning with EboniRamm


Avid and savvy Hub readers like you know all about Communal Pen.

The creative writing workshop you know is presented by the S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) and South Carolina Humanities in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institute's Museum on Main Street traveling exhibits in rural parts of South Carolina. However, you might also know that Museum on Main Street is on hiatus until 2022. It turns out the Communal Pen is full of ink and ready to roll. So... the SCAC is offering a series of one-session workshops to fill demand as we wait 'til next year!

Communal Pen: Musical Pathways

Music opens up pathways to creative thinking, sharpens our ability to listen, and helps us weave together ideas. In the Communal Pen: Musical Pathways workshop, facilitator EBONIRAMM will lead the virtual workshop through writing 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. This is a one-part writing workshop offered two separate times:
  • OPTION 1: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 22
  • OPTION 2: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 26
Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis online or call 803.734.8680. The new format does not support walk-ins as previous workshops have. Share it with your friends on Facebook! NOTE: marking yourself as "Going" on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen: Musical Pathways No previous experience is necessary to participate. 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 www.EboniRamm.com. 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.

Submitted material

S.C. public arts high school welcomes poet Danez Smith

On April 12, creative writing students at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville had the opportunity to participate in a class presented by Danez Smith, a national award-winning author and writer, through the Momentum Series, a program headed by the students of the program.

The Momentum Series is a project produced and managed by the Fine Arts Center Creative Writing Program, in which members of the class work together to bring an innovative writer of national reputation to Greenville to do a community reading and teach a class to the creative writing program at FAC. Through this, the students are able to learn from professional and accomplished writers who are active in the field while also promoting the arts within the Greenville community and strengthening the bonds between the city’s diverse cultural communities and the school district. The Momentum Series is curated, organized, implemented and publicized by students in the Fine Arts Center’s Careers In Publishing class. While usually available to the public, this year the Momentum Series will take place as a closed, virtual event for the FAC creative writing class due to COVID-19 restrictions; however, next spring we hope to be live again in the community! For this year’s installment, the organizers of the program have worked together to bring in poet Danez Smith. Danez Smith is a Black, Queer, Poz writer & performer from St. Paul, Minnesota. Danez is the author of "Don’t Call Us Dead" (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award, and "[insert] boy" (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. Danez is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness. Danez’s third collection, “Homie”, was published by Graywolf in January 2020. - Elizabeth Scott, Fine Arts Center creative writing student

Jason Rapp

Take a creative journey to the foothills with ‘Communal Pen’ series

Two-part writing workshop 'visits' Westminster

[caption id="attachment_44954" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Medlock Bridge Park
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area[/caption]
Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop presented by the S.C. Arts Commission and South Carolina Humanities, is back for starting Saturday, March 20 to help you write to celebrate memories, stories, and traditions of place... continuing its reimagined virtual format with a brand-new theme! 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. In conjunction with the traveling exhibit Water/Ways, the city of Westminster is co-host of this two-part writing workshop, which will be conducted over two Saturday mornings next month:
  • 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 20
  • 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, March 27
Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis online or call 803.734.8680. The new format does not support walk-ins as previous workshops have. Share it with your friends on Facebook! NOTE: marking yourself as "Going" on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen. No previous experience necessary! Although Communal Pen is a virtual program, the Water/Ways exhibit will be on display in Westminster Train Depot (129 E. Main St.) from March 6 through April 17.
The Communal Pen writing workshop draws inspiration from the new Smithsonian exhibit, Water/Ways, which is touring South Carolina with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) Traveling Exhibition Service from June 2020-April 2021. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. Exhibit themes and images are a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. 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 Eboni Ramm 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 www.EboniRamm.com. "Communal Pen: Water/Ways" 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.

Jason Rapp

‘Communal Pen’ returns to Lowcountry in February

Two-part writing workshop 'visits' McClellanville

[caption id="attachment_44954" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Medlock Bridge Park
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area[/caption]
Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop presented by the S.C. Arts Commission and South Carolina Humanities, is back for starting Saturday, Feb. 20 to help you write to celebrate memories, stories, and traditions of place... continuing its reimagined virtual format with a brand-new theme! 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. In conjunction with the traveling exhibit Water/Ways, McClellanville Arts Council is co-host of this two-part writing workshop, which will be conducted over two Saturday mornings next month:
  • 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20
  • 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27
Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis online or call 803.734.8680. The new format does not support walk-ins as previous workshops have. Share it with your friends on Facebook! NOTE: marking yourself as "Going" on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen. No previous experience necessary! Although Communal Pen is a virtual program, the Water/Ways exhibit will be on display at the McClellanville Arts Council from Jan. 18 through March 1.
The Communal Pen writing workshop draws inspiration from the new Smithsonian exhibit, Water/Ways, which is touring South Carolina with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) Traveling Exhibition Service from June 2020-April 2021. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. Exhibit themes and images are a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. 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 Eboni Ramm 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 www.EboniRamm.com. "Communal Pen: Water/Ways" 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.

Submitted material

Scholarship opportunity for emerging Greenville writers

Glenis Redmond Scholarship for Emerging Writers

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Sunday, February 28, 2021

Glenis Redmond’s love of words has carried her across the country for two decades.

She travels nationally and internationally reading and teaching poetry and has had posts as the poet-in-residence at the Peace Center in Greenville and at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Glenis is a Cave Canem Fellow, a North Carolina Literary Fellowship Recipient, and a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist. She also helped create the first Writer-in-Residence at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock, North Carolina. Glenis believes that poetry is a healer, and she can be found in the trenches across the world applying pressure to those in need, one poem at a time. In 2020, she was awarded the South Carolina Governor's Award for the Arts as the artist recipient.

About the scholarship

This scholarship is awarded annually to high school seniors or first-year college students to support their development as creative writers as they attend college.
  • Award amount: $1,000
  • Submissions open: January 1st
  • Submissions close: February 28th
  • Winner announced: March 15th

Eligibility

College-bound high school seniors and first-year college students, ages 17-20, and who are current residents of Greenville County, South Carolina. Students may enroll in any major but must plan to further develop their creative writing abilities. Students must plan to enroll in a two-year or four-year college on either a part-time or full-time basis. Visit this link to apply.

Jason Rapp

S.C. Honors College announces high school writing contest

Cash prizes, publishing opportunity offered

Submission deadline: Friday, September 25, 2020

The South Carolina Honors College at the University of South Carolina invites your students to enter the South Carolina High School Writing Contest for cash prizes and a publishing opportunity.

PARTICIPANTS: The contest is open to South Carolina high school juniors and seniors in public, private, and home schools. TOPIC: The topic is “How should we improve the state of South Carolina?” We welcome submissions in all creative genres, including fiction, drama, and poetry. We also welcome straightforward essays and other kinds of writings – diary entries and letters, for example. Submissions must be within 750 words. HOW IT WORKS: After a student submits their work, 15-20 finalists will be chosen. Those finalists will have their work reviewed by the 2020 writing contest judge, Jonathan Haupt. Jonathan serves as executive director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center and is the former director of the University of South Carolina Press. DEADLINE: Students must be residents of South Carolina. The deadline is September 25, 2020. Cash prizes of $1,000, $500, and $250 will be awarded to the first, second, and third place winners. The entries of finalists and winners will be showcased by the South Carolina Honors College on its website. Read more and enter by clicking here.
Main page photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

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100 bucks for 100 words

New contest from Sunspot Literary Journal

Submission deadline: June 30, 2020
A contribution from Sunspot Literary Journal: Microfiction, micro essay, micro memoir, short poem, micro script, micro screenplay... if it's 100 words or less, it might be worth $100. No restrictions on theme or category. In addition to receiving the cash prize, the winner will be published. Select finalists will have the chance to be published. Sunspot asks for first rights only; all rights revert to the contributor after publication. Works accepted for publication include bylines and biographies. These are published in the next quarterly digital edition an average of one month after contest completion. All the published pieces will be considered for inclusion in the annual fall print edition. Enter as many times as you like. One piece per submission. Pieces must be unpublished except on a personal blog or website. Simultaneous submissions accepted. Work can have won other awards without being disqualified.

Cash award of $100 Entry fee: $5 Open April 1, 2020 Closes June 30, 2020

Link here to submit: https://sunspotlit.submittable.com/submit/164031/100-for-100-words-2020

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Governor’s School announces 10th U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts

Amber Magnuson among just 20 nationwide


Amber Magnuson, a creative writing senior at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, was selected to join the 55th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars and is one of only 20 students chosen nationwide as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts.  Amber Magnuson headshotMagnuson is the Governor's School's 10th student to receive this honor since 2008, nine of which have come from the creative writing department. She will travel to Washington in June to participate in an original performance at The Kennedy Center. "This is the highest national student honor for the arts in the United States, and we congratulate Amber for her outstanding achievements and the Creative Writing Department faculty for continuing to cultivate these exceptional students," said Governor's School President Dr. Cedric Adderley. Prior to attending the Governor's School, Magnuson was a student at Greenville Senior High Academy and the Fine Arts Center. During her sophomore year, she was a YoungArts finalist and attended National YoungArts Week in Miami, Florida in 2017. In the Governor's School's Creative Writing Residential High School Program, led by published, experienced writers who provide daily student mentorship, Magnuson has received numerous accolades. During her senior year, she won first place in Nonfiction in Pfeiffer University's Piedmont Institute of Communication, Art and Music (PICMA) contest and in Ringling College's Storytellers of Tomorrow Contest. She also received a Silver Medal in Nonfiction in the 2019 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition and three Gold Keys, one Silver Key, and two Honorable Mentions in the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Region-at-Large competition. Magnuson was also named a National Merit Finalist. After graduation, she will attend Columbia University in New York City. A press release from the U.S. Department of Education states that the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,200 candidates qualified for the 2019 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations or the National YoungArts Foundation's nationwide YoungArts program.
For more information about the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities and their creative writing programs, visit www.scgsah.org.

‘Communal Pen’ writing workshop series heads to Newberry

The S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities are excited to continue Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop, in Newberry on Saturday, Jan. 19 to help you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. They have two questions:

  1. What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  2. 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! Co-facilitators EBONI RAMM and MICHELLE ROSS will lead the 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. This three-and-a-half-hour writing workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Newberry Arts Center (1200 Main St., Newberry). It 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. Walk-in registration is welcome as long as space permits. Share it with your friends on Facebook! 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. Enjoy Crossroads at the Newberry Opera House through Feb. 3, 2019. The image at the top of this page is Old Sheldon by Varnville, S.C. artist Ment Nelson, who's no stranger to The Hub. Nelson celebrates his family, culture, and home community through his artwork. He is a Young Voice of the Art of Community-Rural SC initiative, and coordinator of the Creative Connectors, for the Create Rural SC project. On being an artist he says, “You never know who might be intrigued by your story.”
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, Communal Pen co-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 co-facilitator Michelle Ross is a folklorist and adjunct faculty in anthropology at the University of South Carolina Sumter. She holds a master's from the Folk Studies and Anthropology Department at Western Kentucky University. Ross embraces stories of all kinds. She helped establish the S.C. Center for Oral Narrative, through which she has co-created several writing workshops. Ross also works with the Mothers of Angels in telling and writing about grief from the death of a child, and has worked with veterans in telling and writing their stories. Her work has been published in The North Carolina Folklore Journal and an anthology of mother-in-law essays titled His Mother!; her poetry has appeared in Sandhill and The Petigru Review. For the past five years, she has been working on telling her Pontian Greek family’s refugee story, her most important project to date. Communal Pen coordinator Laura Marcus Green is Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director at the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she manages several grant and award programs, and at the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, where she develops programming in conjunction with folklife exhibitions. 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.

Denmark, Voorhees to be next ‘Communal Pen’ workshop hosts

The S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities are excited to continue Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop, in Denmark on Saturday, Dec. 1 to help you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. They have two questions:

  1. What are the memories, stories and traditions that make our community home?
  2. 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! Co-facilitators EBONI RAMM and MICHELLE ROSS will lead the 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. This three-hour writing workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wright-Potts Library at Voorhees College in Denmark (look for it in the first floor student lounge, see map here). It 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. Walk-in registration is welcome as long as space permits. Share it with your friends on Facebook! 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. Enjoy Crossroads at Voorhees College through Dec. 9, 2018. The image at the top of this page is Old Sheldon by Varnville, S.C. artist Ment Nelson, who's no stranger to The Hub. Nelson celebrates his family, culture, and home community through his artwork. He is a Young Voice of the Art of Community-Rural SC initiative, and coordinator of the Creative Connectors, for the Create Rural SC project. On being an artist he says, “You never know who might be intrigued by your story.”
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, Communal Pen co-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 co-facilitator Michelle Ross is a folklorist and adjunct faculty in anthropology at the University of South Carolina Sumter. She holds a master's from the Folk Studies and Anthropology Department at Western Kentucky University. Ross embraces stories of all kinds. She helped establish the S.C. Center for Oral Narrative, through which she has co-created several writing workshops. Ross also works with the Mothers of Angels in telling and writing about grief from the death of a child, and has worked with veterans in telling and writing their stories. Her work has been published in The North Carolina Folklore Journal and an anthology of mother-in-law essays titled His Mother!; her poetry has appeared in Sandhill and The Petigru Review. For the past five years, she has been working on telling her Pontian Greek family’s refugee story, her most important project to date. Communal Pen coordinator Laura Marcus Green is Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director at the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she manages several grant and award programs, and at the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, where she develops programming in conjunction with folklife exhibitions. 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.