The Community Writing Project (CWP) offers adult writing workshops for adults from poor, immigrant, and other marginalized communities in the Chicago area. We believe that every person is a thinker and an artist and that the seeds for change can be found in the artistic and intellectual renderings of ordinary people.
Our goal is to provide a creative space where people can share their experiences, examine their lives, and become recognized within their communities as writers and leaders. By encouraging the writers to communicate their thoughts, reflect together on their everyday experiences, and value their insights as social actors, the CWP contributes to the participation of ordinary people in civic life.
The CWP publishes writing from the workshops in a magazine, Real Conditions, and distributes it to families, friends, and neighbors. It has been our experience that the simple, profound truths expressed in people’s written stories has wide appeal. Children and youth are among those who are most moved by these stories; they invariably express great pride in their elders who have written, and are often moved to write.
The CWP aims to strengthen the link between locally produced art and community building by making the workshops and publications self-sustaining programs. We support writers in becoming writing workshop teachers and work with neighborhood schools and community organizations to incorporate the writing project into existing adult programs.
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