Creative 360 ​​opens Celebration of Voices with active writing workshops

From Friday October 7 to Sunday October 9, Creative 360 ​​welcomes artists Stephanie Heit and Petra Kuppers who will offer a weekend of workshops that engage the senses, curiosity and creativity to explore and experiment with different modes of expression. The events kick off the year-long Celebration of Voices project at Creative 360, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Guests can join Heit and Kuppers at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 7 in the Bayliss Street Gallery for An evening on the culture of disability: readings and performances which will offer poetry, fiction, movement and more in an event that will invite and celebrate creative expression.

“The guests who attended the artists’ talk for our Breaking the Stigma Exhibition last winter will recognize Stephanie as the powerful poet who was part of this show,” said curator and program director Colleen Reed. “We knew we wanted to bring Stephanie and her partner, Petra, back to Midland to share more of their important and exciting work with our community.”

The Friday evening event will be followed by Open Attention: An interdisciplinary weekend of sensory play, three active writing and art workshops that take place on Saturday and Sunday

Writing Workshop 1 will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 8 at the East Ashman Galleries where participants will use sensory experiences and writing experiences as starting points for writing across genres. From 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, artists will provide a sensory forest experience at the Chippewa Nature Center, using breath, movement, and the senses to fully explore the environment, both individually and in groups. Additionally, at 11am-1pm on Sunday, October 9, Writing Workshop 2 will be a generative workshop using environment and interaction as starting points for writing. Each workshop can be registered individually.

Heit, a disabled queer poet, dancer and teacher, grew up in Midland where she took her first creative movement class with Linda Z. Smith. She is a Zoeglossia scholar, survivor of the shock/psychological system, bipolar and a member of Olimpias, an international disability performance collective. Her powerful collections of poetry invite the reader inside psychiatric wards and shock treatment and explore the seams of language, movement and mental health difference.

Kuppers, a disability culture activist, writer, and community performance artist, draws on the methods of disability culture and engages audiences toward a more just and socially enjoyable future. She is Anita Gonzalez Collegiate Professor of Performance Studies and Disability Culture at the University of Michigan and has published poetry and science fiction. Together they created Turtle Disco, a somatic writing studio in Southeast Michigan.

“A celebration of voices honors and supports each artist’s unique voice,” said Laura Vosejpka, Executive Director of Creative 360. authentic me.”

A $15 donation is requested for participation, but Stephanie, Petra, and Creative 360 ​​want to make sure anyone interested can participate. Participants can register online at becreative360.org or by calling the arts center at 989-837-1885.