“Who we are, Where we live” Reading and Celebration at Waterloo Arts

Writers Chrisandra Allen, Saniya Martin, and Art Teacher, Kole Robinson Brooks at "Who we are, Where we live" workshop at Collinwood Rec Center

On Saturday, November 14, the spirit flags will fly above the Waterloo Arts and Entertainment District and all Collinwood and Greater Cleveland community members are invited to gather at Waterloo Arts Gallery from 1:30 to 3:30 pm to celebrate the culmination of the “Who we are, Where we live” program. “Who we are, Where we live” is a multi-faceted creative arts program, funded by the Institute for Poetic Medicine and designed to give voice to the residents of the diverse Collinwood community. For some, stories and memories of life and work in Collinwood date back to the 1940’s and before. Pat Nevar, Vice President of the Slovenian Workmen’s Home, and her husband Fred began dancing together in the Hall’s ballroom decades ago. For others, like Gladys Burnett, a recent transplant from Youngstown and avid member of the Collinwood Rec Center, these memories and stories are just beginning to unfold. Together, they tell the larger story of a place that has endured through hard times and good times, a place where people still live, raise families, make art, run businesses, and go to school.

Throughout October, area residents have been gathering at writing workshops at Collinwood Recreation Center, The Slovenian Workmen’s Home, and Waterloo Arts, to talk and write about moments that give a peek into their lives. Writing workshops have been received enthusiastically. Said one attendee, “What a sense of community a writing workshop in the neighborhood brings!” On November 1, writing workshop members and other community members gathered at Praxis Fiber Workshop to create colorful spirit flags, bearing messages of memory and hope for Collinwood, which will be raised above the community, both on Waterloo Road and at the Collinwood Recreation Center.

At the Community Reading and Celebration on November 14, all attendees will enjoy refreshments and entertainment, and will hear some of the work created and read by writing workshop participants. An anthology of the writing, free to all workshop participants, will be available for sale to attendees at the event. All proceeds will be invested in funding future creative writing workshops in Collinwood.

This event will be held at Waterloo Arts, 15605 Waterloo Rd., Cleveland, OH. For more information about Who we are, Where we live, visit waterlooarts.com or contact Program Director and Facilitator, Cindy Washabaugh at cindywashabaugh@creative-life-works.com

Cindy Washabaugh

Cindy Washabaugh, Program Director and Facilitator of “Who we are, Where we live,” is a Cleveland poet with a passion for community arts. She has taught for Cleveland State University and other colleges and leads workshops and creative writing projects in many settings. The Who we are, Where we live program is funded by The Institute for Poetic Medicine. For more info on this Poetry Partner Program, visit Cindy’s page on IPM’s website: poeticmedicine.org

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 11:41 AM, 11.25.2015