Writer's Block Ink and Safe Futures Announce Collaboration: Raising Voices Against Domestic Violence

Inaugural Community Forum and Arts Studios to Take Place February 27th
New London, CT – Writer’s Block Ink and Safe Futures are pleased to announce the inaugural event of Raising Voices Against Domestic Violence, a collaborative project using the arts to spread awareness of domestic violence in Southeastern Connecticut. Writer’s Block Ink and Safe Futures believe that every person has the power to raise their voice to heal, educate, and prevent domestic violence. The nine-month project will kick-off on Saturday, February 27th with the first of three Community Forums. The forum will take place from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon, followed by an Open Arts Studio from 12:00 – 2:00 pm. All events will be held at the ISAAC School in New London. For more information, visit www.writersblockink.org or www.facebook.com/RaisingVoicesAgainstDomesticViolence
The Community Forum will include an inspiring testimonial from a domestic violence survivor; educational discussion to raise awareness about the issue and led by Safe Futures; and theater-based group activities exploring what you can do to prevent violence, led by Writers Block Ink.
Directly following the forum will be an Open Arts Studio. The studios will create a space to engage, reflect, heal, create, restore and share around experiences relating to domestic violence, direct or indirect. The studios will feature a variety of arts mediums, including visual arts, music, writing, dance, and storytelling. Expert teaching artists for the February 27th forum include: Michael Bradford, theater and writing; Ann Schenk, dance and movement; Felicia Hurley, African drumming; and Ewa Grochowska, visual arts. Safe Futures will also facilitate The Clothesline Project, a visual arts project where tee-shirts are designed to ‘bear witness to violence against women.’ (www.clotheslineproject.org) The teaching artists will be available to guide participants through telling their stories with art. Artists and non-artists alike are invited to explore and share their experiences with domestic violence through each art medium.
Subsequent Community Engagement Forums will take place on Saturday, April 30th and Saturday, July 16th, both 10:00am to 12:00pm, with Open Arts Studios directly following until 2:00pm. Supplementary Open Arts Studios will take place on five Saturdays from 12:00 to 2:00 pm; March 5th, April 9th, May 21st, June 11th, and July 30th.
Raising Voices Against Domestic Violence will culminate on August 11th-14th, 2016 with the creation of an original performance chronicling stories of survival and hope. Domestic violence affects people in our communities both locally and globally, regardless of race, gender, class, age, sexuality, ethnicity, or ability. We are impacted as direct victims, but more often as witnesses and as supporters for someone going through abuse.
The Raising Voices Against Domestic Violence project is funded primarily by the State of Connecticut’s Office of the Arts’ Arts and Community Impact Grant, and in part by the Community Foundation’s Southeast Women & Girls Fund.
Individuals, organizations, businesses are encouraged to get involved in this powerful community movement by contacting Writer’s Block Ink at (860) 442-5625 or writersblock2@gmail.com. Visit www.RaisingVoicesAgainstDomesticViolence.org or www.facebook.com/RaisingVoicesAgainstDomesticViolence for more information.
Writer’s Block Ink arms young voices with the power of pen and prose, reinforcing teamwork, accountability, and responsibility; igniting social change on the page and stage. It is a New London-based nonprofit founded in 2003 to encourage youth in Southeastern CT to use writing and performance as tools to address personal and social challenges. Writer’s Block Ink serves 300-400 youth per year through its programs and school partnerships, and engages thousands of community members through events, performances, and presentations. Youth participants create and perform original pieces and productions addressing social issues that affect their daily lives. Writer’s Block Ink finds, feeds, and launches young leaders. www.writersblockink.org
Safe Futures saves lives, restores hope and changes the future for those impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault throughout southeastern Connecticut. Safe Futures, founded in 1976 as the Women’s Center of Southeastern CT, operates two 24-hour hotlines, an emergency shelter and a transitional living program. It also provides legal assistance, counseling and advocacy, case management, support groups and educational programs for schools as community groups.  All 21 towns in New London County are served by the agency. www.safefuturesct.org
Safe Futures is part of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV).  Safe Futures is also a Partner Agency of United Way and its programs are funded in part by the State of Connecticut’s Departments of Social Service, Mental Health and Addiction Services, and Office of Victim Services, Judicial Branch.
WHO: Raising Voices Against Domestic Violence
Collaboration with Writer’s Block Ink and Safe Futures
WHAT: Community Engagement Forum & Open Arts Studio
190 Governor Winthrop Blvd, New London, CT 06320
WHEN: Saturday, February 27th, 10:00am-2:00pm
HOW: Register at www.RaisingVoicesAgainstDomesticViolence.org

Or just show up!
For more information: (860) 44-BLOCK