Category Archives: Events

Sisterhood of the Traveling Journal

I wrote about the April 2011 collage workshop in my previous post.  What I didn’t say was what else happened during that workshop. Besides making creative collages and new friends, something else happened. A serindipidous self-organizing community grew from one artist frustration with shared journals. Once her story was told, several women in the room shouted out their commitment to shared journaling with “count me in!” That gave birth to  “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Journal.” *

Here’s my first entry.

Want to join the sisterhood?

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Filed under Art and Learning, Community, Events, My Art

New Collage “Claudia Smiles” (I hope)

Claudia Smiles

From the April 17th collage workshop I presented in collaboration with Skip Werline in beautiful Washington, Kentucky. The event was hosted by Ohio River Valley Art Guild. The guild’s director, Claudia Moose is an incredible artist but when a watercolor painting doesn’t turn out as intended she takes a paper cutter to it. She cuts these long, triangle shaped strips, places the strips in a cardboard box and offers up the watercolor remains to whoever comes along and notices. I did. Claudia said it would make her happy if I could find some use for them.

After working on this collage for a while, I invited three other artists in the room to take turns adding, creating, enhancing the work. It turned out to be a remarkably joyful feeling to watch each artist add her personal touch to the piece I had started. Well technically,  Claudia started it all. Thanks Claudia.


Filed under Events, Misc, My Art

Lamenting the News

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People are Dying

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Tools of Exclusion

Dawn Brunkalla sadly reports that, last night, in her Ohio County 53,492 people voted for a levy to keep two segregated MR/DD schools open- 67% to 33%. How? The MRDD industry tapped into every single remnant of the public’s assumptions, fears and outdated beliefs about people with labels of disability. This is a perfect case study of how segregated systems stay in business.  Read it word for word at Justice for All.



Filed under Events, Teaching

April 3 – A Community Conversation with Judith Snow

Judith Snow

Judith Snow

How Can People Listen to Us?

Advocates invent many strategies. Every strategy is meant to get someone more powerful to listen, agree and change how they act. People get together in groups. They raise money and hire people to make important points with politicians. They research facts and write papers. They block buses and roads. They create meetings and interrupt other meetings. They make phone calls and sometimes make enough phone calls to block the phone system. They hand out pamphlets explaining their ideas and experience. They make web sites and connect with other people’s web sites. They light candles and hold hands. They sing and chant.

When people want people who are labeled disabled to be leaders they try to get us to do all these things. Not one of these strategies to make change was invented by someone who doesn’t speak. All those strategies are difficult, and usually impossible, for a person who doesn’t speak. They are also difficult, and usually impossible, for someone like myself who goes through life with the hands-on support of other people.

This Cincinnati, Ohio event is part of a series of Community Conversations focused on gifts and possibilities of community. For more information go to A Small Group.


Filed under Community, Events

Pics from Pittsburgh


Here are a few pics of my art exhibition at the Peal Conference in Pittsburgh.  Great crowd, great speakers (I wasn’t one of them – I had laryngitis for my session).

Many thanks to Dan Wilkens of the Nth Degree, my co-presenter for taking up the slack.


Thanks to the Ohio Arts Council and the Peal Center for their support.


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Community Story

Peal Conference Planning Notes

Look what happened when I pasted my notes for my presentation at the Peal Conference this Tuesday in Pittsburgh into a wordle. What do you think?

Wanna make your own wordle? It’s easy. Go to Click ‘create’.  Add your words and then click ‘go’.  Try out the randomize button for fascinating results!

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Five Conversations We Need to Have Right Now

Margaret Wheatley has posted a most welcome essay  – Five Conversation We Need to Have Right Now.

What if we begin these conversations here at my place and there at yours?

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Filed under Community, Events, Teaching