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Category: Teaching

Event: Create Community, October 23 at The Brooklyn Brewery

Making Something Else: Creative Community Meeting at The Brooklyn Brewery Wednesday, October 23.


BROOKLYN, NY, October 17, 2013 – On Wednesday, October 23, instructors, members, students and others comprising the community formerly known as 3rd Ward are invited to gather at The Brooklyn Brewery’s Tasting Room for an informal networking mixer hosted by writing instructor Robin Grearson. This will be the first opportunity for the large group of coworkers, members, instructors and others to reconnect since their creative home shut its doors.

Speakers include former instructors Launa Eddy, Ryan O’Connor and Victoria Valencia; attorney Genan Zilkha will offer advice on starting new businesses. And two speakers will describe initiatives they created to support students and teachers: CourseHorse offers credit to students who bought 3rd Ward classes through its site, and the Instructor Matchmaking service, created by Brooklyn Brainery to connect instructors and classrooms.

The mission is primarily social but also looking forward, in part by introducing the group to a host of local resources for artists and makers. Throughout the free event, representatives from up to 20 area learning communities, art spaces, maker and coworking spaces will be introduced and identified, allowing people to connect according to their own interests. The partial list of participating businesses is provided below.

Robin Grearson says she was inspired to create an event when she saw offers of support appearing online. “So many people wanted to help in some way, I wanted to bring everyone together to discover these resources,” she said. “I started planning the event by myself but was quickly offered lots of support. People feel the loss of 3rd Ward because it attracted so many talented, smart, and creative people. But the people were its strength, and they’re still here. I want to create opportunities for this community to connect and share ideas, because new friendships, collaborations and solutions will naturally develop. I want to see value return to the creative community instead of to a group of investors.”

The following is a partial list of organizations planning to attend:

319 Scholes
Art Factory
Bird River Studios
Brooklyn Art Space
Brooklyn Brainery
Brooklyn Craft Company
Brooklyn Fire Proof
The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts
Fountain Art Fair
Hack Manhattan
Happenstance Jewelry Studio
Manufacture New York
Mellow Pages
Painting Lounge
The Public School: New York
Silent Barn
Two Moon Cafe

For further information, please see the event page, here:

Event details:
What’s Next? Creating Community
Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
The Brooklyn Brewery Tasting Room
79 N 11th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11249

About The Brooklyn Brewery:
The Brooklyn Brewery generously donated the use of their Tasting Room and the cost of staff for our event.

About CourseHorse:
CourseHorse is an educational guide to NYC that makes it easy to find, compare and enroll in thousands of professionally instructed classes in topics ranging from art, crafts and cooking, to tech, writing, design and more.

About Brooklyn Brainery:
Brooklyn Brainery is a community classroom in Prospect Heights, hosting classes for curious adults on everything from botany to bookbinding.

About Robin Grearson:
Robin Grearson is a nonfiction writer, writing instructor and consultant in Brooklyn, New York.

Media contact: Robin Grearson.


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Party! See You at The Brooklyn Brewery

Dear students, friends, associates & strangers,

I was a writing instructor with 3rd Ward until May 2013. When it closed without warning, I wanted to do something, so I am setting up a (free!) event for people to talk about what they’re doing next. Through the generosity of The Brooklyn Brewery team, this idea-focused gathering is scheduled for 7:30 – 9:30 PM on Wednesday, October 23 in the brewery’s Tasting Room.

This will be the first opportunity to assemble, and I hope to create something fun and valuable. I’m writing to ask for input as I set up the event. Please share this note so anyone who wants to can contact me to participate or help. Event details and an invite and other specifics will be available as soon as I compile the information you send me. Here’s where we are so far:

**New projects and collectives are already forming. I’ve invited some instructors to talk about new projects, and there is room for two or three more to talk about new ideas. Contact me if you are looking for partners in something new.

**A few speakers will discuss their company’s initiatives, such as CourseHorse’s 100-percent-credit offer and Brooklyn Brainery’s Instructor Matchmaking service. Instructors & venues, have you signed up for Instructor Matchmaking yet?

**I will be introducing and identifying some amazing people who offer classes, co-working spaces and other resources in the area throughout the event. If you or your business wants to be part of this, show up or contact me for specifics.

**Really, the idea is to simply connect. So there will be lots of time for that, too.

Do you want to help?
I am seeking a (licensed!) door person and a couple of volunteers to help. Photographers, videographers, or writers who want to help broadcast or document the event, please let me know.

I have no affiliation with 3rd Ward or its business affairs. If you want to write to me about your frustrations anyway, send me a note. I probably can’t help, but maybe you will feel better.

Please add me to whatever social network makes sense for you, if we’re not already connected.

Thank you,

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Teaching in DC this weekend

I’m spending this weekend in Washington, DC, where I have been invited to lead two writing workshops for artists: Learn to Love Your Artist Statement and Who Are You?

Hamiltonian Artists invited me to participate in their Professional Development Speaker Series, and I am honored to accept. The workshops are funded in part by DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, which is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.


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Summer news, donation-based consulting!


I confess I’ve been feeling a little uninspired lately; I suspect mostly because I’ve been preoccupied for a couple of months: I made plans to get my MFA in writing, but last week I decided not to go after all.

I’m inspired by people who are committed to doing what matters to them regardless of resources, like Matt & Jacob, who founded the free Mellow Pages library in Bushwick from donated books by local authors. Chiwan Choi in Los Angeles is also running Writ Large press, coordinating events and opening an independent bookstore in Los Angeles, all for the love of publishing. There are other examples. Many independent reading series and art galleries are labors of love.

I’m currently working with Cameron Blaylock on a long essay (chapbook?) about Bushwick. Cameron is using a Polaroid camera to illustrate my thesis that Bushwick’s cultural history is ephemeral at this point. I’m at about 6,800 words and just beginning edits.

Thought Catalog kindly published an essay I wrote recently. While the headline refers to catcalling, I was thinking of the Steubenville verdict and worldwide violence against women when I wrote the piece.

This Sunday, August 25 at 5 PM, I’m excited to be included in the reading/discussion for BLT Salon (Brooklyn Ladies Text). This month’s event is hosted at a private residence in Brooklyn off the G: All are welcome. I’m reading the Thought Catalog piece and maybe a few newish poems. I’m reading with Amber Atiya, Lee Ann Brown, R Erica Doyle, Hafizah Geter, Casey Llewellyn, Amelie Ray and Evie Shockley. All the details are on Tumblr.

Art & curating:
I had an inspiring studio visit last month with Anne Gilman. I am interested in her works on paper and her use of text and crossing out. I’ve had a couple of projects on the back burner for a while, but they’re still on the back burner. I’m still open to collaborations, so if you want to propose something, please do.

I am no longer working with 3rd Ward, but I am open to finding new schools and venues to host my professional-writing workshops, and I am willing to teach small private groups (buy me a train ticket and I’m there, everyone outside NY). I love working with artists, writers & freelancers to help them communicate and reach toward their goals–editing, writing, marketing, starting a small business. Whatever you need, let’s work on it.

I have found that many people postpone hiring a consultant to help put their ideas and professional communications together. Sometimes we tell ourselves that money is the reason we don’t go for our dreams, but it shouldn’t be. So allow me to remove at least one of your excuses: if you’ve wanted to work with me but haven’t set up a time, do it now. Between August 21 and September 1, I will meet with anyone to consult on any project, on a donation basis. This is a pay-what-you-can offer for a one-hour appointment (in-person only!). If you want to barter, email me your idea. If the response is crazy, I’ll set up scheduled hours and a desk somewhere, otherwise I envision spending some time in cafés having cool conversations and learning about your new projects.

The Photo:
People ask often about my 100 Days project. Here’s what I did: Last summer, I wrote a new 1,000-word (or more) composition per day, every day for 100 days. In Union Square. I highly recommend it and need to figure out how to write something about it at some point. On Day 3 last year, a very friendly butterfly showed up who even sat on my hands while I typed, and then also made itself comfy on my keyboard, facing the screen. Two weeks later, this guy or one of his friends came back and found me again. If that isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is.

Thanks for your time and attention and inspiration and support. Keep in touch.

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Statements on Artist Statements

When I created a writing workshop called “Learn to Love Your Artist Statement,”  I knew I was in for some trouble. Then I read Iris Jaffe’s “The Anti-Artist Statement” on, and I felt the need to write a reponse in defense of this most-maligned document. Why?

The primary reasons: For as long as an artist statement is a professional requirement, provide one when asked, and provide the best one you can. If you have trouble writing an artist statement of sufficient quality to meet your own standards (or bio, or statement of purpose), hire someone (me, for instance!) to help, rather than let your name appear next to someone else’s thoughts and ideas. Discuss your philosophical objections within your circle of friends, but don’t be unprofessional when presented with an opportunity; the field is too competitive. And creatively, writing an artist statement can increase your self-awareness and deepen your understanding of what you do–sometimes because writing is an unfamiliar new tool for interacting with your unconscious.

Check out the essay on Hyperallergic and the great discussion it has generated. Feel free to let me know what you think.

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