Handwriting Gala

March 5, 2016 2:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Ready, Get Set, Write! Pen and Brush has partnered with Handwritten for a special event that invites our Takeover guests to celebrate the written word with their own hands.

We’ll start the day off with an all-ages letter-writing workshop led by poet and writer Karen Benke. After we have had some time to experience the tactile experience of putting words on paper, there will be a series of presentations from various writers and organizations who work with the handwritten word. The gala brings the writers and writing aficionados together to discuss what relevance handwriting has in a digital age, and provides resources for visitors to engage or get more involved in the many organizations examining, mobilizing, and engaging with handwriting. Presenters include:

Karen Benke, who prefers paper and purple-tipped pens. The author of three popular creative writing adventure books, Rip the Page! Leap Write In! and Write Back Soon!: Adventures in Letter Writing, she leads creative play-shops to inspire kids and kids at heart to put aside their smart phones and pen short poems and letters that require a return address and stamps. A long time California Poet in the Schools, she lives north of the Golden Gate Bridge with her teenage son, magic cat, and rescue dog.  

Carly Butler, a writer, photographer and snail mail enthusiast from British Columbia, Canada. After discovering 110 love letters that her grandmother wrote to her grandfather after a chance meeting during World War II, she flew to London to retrace her grandmother's steps. What began as a personal journey has turned into a blog, forthcoming book, and calling: she has been invited to speak about the legacy of letters with university students, historical organizations, and genealogy groups -- and now, with Pen and Brush. Carly’s presentation will highlight her experience preserving and connecting to her family story, how the legacy of her Grandmother’s love letters changed her own, and how creativity can be used as a vehicle to connect to the past, present and future. Along with displaying her Grandmother’s beautifully penned love letters, she will engage the audience in an interactive letter writing challenge to encourage connection to one’s own Life’s Letter. Currently, she is a curator at Handwritten, and lives in British Columbia with her husband, Adam.

Dallie Clark, a humanities professor at Collin College whose doctoral work focused on how letter-writing has inspired additional art forms, and who is curating a forthcoming exhibit and documentary on letter writing in the digital age. Dallie serves on several advisory boards for the arts in the Dallas, Texas area and is also the author of Pink, a poetry collection. 

The Handwriting Gala will also be providing information about CursiveLogic, a system that focuses on "an intelligent new way to teach cursive," and other like-minded organizations that are leading handwritten efforts today.

Hand-writers, hand-thinkers, and hand-holders, the founders of Handwritten have created a preserve for penmanship and things of the physical past. The site also reserves a place in space to think about and write by hand. Occupying the landscape between typing and handwriting, Handwritten looks at process over product and offers readers and writers a new kind of handwritten home in a digital age.

In this era of instantaneous communication, a handwritten letter is a rare and wondrous item. The Letter Writers Alliance is dedicated to preserving this art form; neither long lines, nor late deliveries, nor increasing postal rates will keep us from our mission. Since 2007 the Letter Writers Alliance has been dedicated to the art of letter writing. Our creative members help this endeavor. Learn how to join the movement at www.letterwriters.org.

This event is free and open to the public. RSVPs to <RSVP@penandbrush.org> are strongly encouraged, though not required.

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