Writer's Block Ink and Safe Futures Collaborate in Community Forums April 16, April 30

Writer's Block Ink and Safe Futures Collaborate in Raising Voices Against Domestic Violence 
Community Forum and Arts Studios Continue April 16th and 30th 
New London, CT – Writer’s Block Ink and Safe Futures are collaborating to bring the community together in raising awareness and using expressive arts with Raising Voices Against Domestic Violence. 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, which kicked-off in February, continues with an Open Arts Studio on April 16th and the second of three Community Engagement Forums on April 30th. The Open Arts Studio on April 16th will take place from 12:00-2:00pm. The event on April 30th will consist of a Forum from 10:00am-12:00pm followed by another Open Arts Studio from 12:00-2:00pm. All events are free and open to the public, and will be held at the ISAAC School in New London. For more information, visit www.RaisingVoicesAgainstDomesticViolence.org.
The Community Forum will include an inspiring testimonial from a domestic violence survivor; educational discussion to raise awareness 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 create a space to engage, reflect, heal, create and share 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 April 16th and 30th studios include: Michael Bradford, theater and writing; Ann Schenk and Monica Fish, 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) Teaching artists will be available to guide participants through telling their stories with art.
During each Open Arts Studio, participants are encouraged to visit the Narrative Recording Room to privately record their personal story regarding domestic violence. The recordings, which can be confidential, will become a part of our project archive. Domestic violence affects people in our communities both locally and globally, regardless of race, gender, class, age, sexuality, ethnicity, or ability. The goal is to collect narratives that show people are impacted not only as direct victims, but more often as witnesses and as supporters for someone going through abuse.
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; April 16th, May 21st, June 11th, and July 30th. Raising Voices Against Domestic Violence will culminate on the weekend of August 12th, 2016 with the creation of an original performance chronicling stories of survival and hope. This production will draw upon the project’s story archive to highlight the voices of survivors and witnesses.
Raising Voices Against Domestic Violence is made possible with the support of the Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. The project is also funded in part by the Southeast Area 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. Writer’s Block Ink 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
Where: ISAAC School
190 Governor Winthrop Blvd, New London, CT 06320
When: Saturday, April 16th, 12:00-2:00pm and Saturday, April 30th, 10 am – 2:00 pm
How: Register at www.RaisingVoicesAgainstDomesticViolence.org or just show up!

For more information: (860) 44-BLOCK