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Create+Engage is a multiple-part series of free virtual sessions and hands-on workshops with invited guest speakers and artists to deep-dive on specific topics of civic engagement. 


Through these sessions and additional planned programming, we hope to bring people together in a dynamic space to inspire creativity while engaging in meaningful action leading up to the November 2024 U.S. elections.

Learn more about how Create+Engage came about

All programming is free and accessible for all participants, there are two ways to support this programming:

1. Become a paid subscriber on Substack

2. Make a financial contribution to Create+Engage. These contributions will go to speaker honorariums and support the series.


Visual Storytelling: Art as Communication with Tessa Hulls and Janelle Washington


Wednesday May 8, 5:00-6:30pm Pacific


Join us for a hands-on workshop devoted to powerful visual storytelling.


We know the power of a good story, but how do stories with visuals impact us differently than stories with words?


In this workshop we’ll explore the art of communication, with two graphic storytellers Tessa Hulls and Janelle Washington. While using different mediums, they both create compelling work to help tell complex and nuanced stories. We’ll learn how to hone in on the details of bringing a story to life—whether it’s our own or one in our community.

Suggested materials for this hands-on workshop:

  • Pen or pencil

  • Paper

  • Sharpie or black marker

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Tessa Hulls

Tessa Hulls (she/her) is an artist, writer, and adventurer who is equally likely to disappear into the backcountry or a research library. Her essays and comics have appeared in The Washington Post, Atlas Obscura, Adventure Journal, The Rumpus, and Lit Hub, and she is the creator of Feeding Ghosts: A Graphic Memoir. She has received grants from the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, 4Culture, and the McMillen Foundation, been awarded residencies from Hedgebrook, Yaddo, and Ucross, and is a recipient of the Washington Artist Trust Arts Innovator Award.

Follow: @tessahulls

Janelle Washington

Janelle Washington (she/her) is an award-winning self-taught paper-cut artist from Virginia. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA in Fashion Design and afterward found interest in paper cutting. Through the simplicity of paper, Janelle creates images that showcase African Americans' courage, achievements, and grace in difficult situations. All her hand-cut paper cuts are designed using an Exacto knife and one piece of paper.

Follow: @washingtoncuts



Upcoming Sessions

Check back as we announce new speakers, artists, and workshop topics. Sign up for the Creative Fuel newsletter to find out when new workshops launch.

Wednesday June 12, 5:00-6:30pm Pacific: Register now

Wednesday, July 10, 5:00-6:30pm Pacific: TBA

Wednesday October 16, 5:00-6:30pm Pacific: TBA

Continued Action — Wednesday, November 13, 5:00-6:30pm Pacific


Micro-Media: The Power of Zines with Sarah "Shay" Mirk and Christina Appleberry


Wednesday March 13, 5:00-6:30pm Pacific


Join us for a hands-on zine workshop! 

What are you paying attention to in your community, and what media do you consume to learn about it? 

In a world flooded with news and media, it can be hard to pay attention, hard to focus on the issues that impact us. 

In this workshop we’ll explore how micro-media, in the form of zines, can be a way to focus attention and scope. We’ll learn about the history of zines from librarian Christina Appleberry and do a hands-on workshop to make our own zines with artist and educator Sarah "Shay" Mirk.

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Christina Appleberry

Christina Appleberry (she/her) is a school librarian in Palo Alto. She is especially interested in programming that provides opportunities for creative self-expression. She has taught zine making workshops to all ages and has advocated for zines in libraries at the American Library Association Annual Conference for a decade.


Sarah "Shay" Mirk

Sarah “Shay” Mirk (she/they) is a graphic journalist, editor, and teacher. For six years, Shay was a contributing editor at comics publication The Nib, where projects she worked on won both Eisner and Ignatz awards. They are the author of Guantanamo Voices, an illustrated oral history of Guantanamo Bay prison. They are a zine-maker and illustrator whose comics have been featured in The New Yorker, Bitch, and NPR. Shay is currently the Applied Cartooning Fellow at the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont. She is white, nonbinary, and queer. In her free time, she befriends strangers’ dogs.

Follow: @mirkdrop


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The Way of Water: Exploring Local Ecosystems with Heather Bird Harris and Renee Royale


Wednesday April 17, 5:00-6:30pm Pacific


Join us for this workshop fusing art and environment.

How does a local connection to nature/environment serve as a catalyst for staying engaged?


That’s the driving question for our Create+Engage workshop for Earth Month. In this creative session we will be focusing on water systems. Do you know where your drinking water comes from? How often do you think about waterways in your local environment, and how they interact with plant and animal life? How can healthy watersheds help communities flourish? 


In this workshop, we’ll explore the centrality of water in our own local communities. We’ll deep-dive into data about our community water systems with artist, writer, and independent curator Renee Royale, and do a hands-on workshop to visualize our waterways in full health with artist, curator, and educator Heather Bird Harris.

Suggested materials for this hands-on workshop:

  • Pen or pencil

  • Watercolor or mixed media paper / sketchbook or notebook

  • Water-based media (ie, watercolor paints, inks, etc)

  • Brushes/droppers


A painting by Heather Bird Harris: an abstract look at Louisiana's eroding coastline. Photo by Halle Parker


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Heather Bird Harris

Heather ‘Bird’ Harris is an artist, curator, and educator who prioritizes caretaking and connection. Her work explores the throughlines between history and ecological crises, engaging with communities, scientists, and site-specific materials to investigate land memory, systems of complicity, and possibilities for emergence. Bird lives in Atlanta with her partner and two children. She is an MFA candidate in Painting and MA candidate in Art History at Georgia State University.

Follow: @heatherbirdharris 

Renee Royale

Renee Royale is an artist, writer, and independent curator.

Her recent work centers studies of belonging, call-and-response from an ecological perspective, time based explorations, and trauma responses. Both a process and conceptual artist, she interweaves disciplines at whim to add layers and context to what is being conveyed. She is currently based in Chicago, IL, where she is pursuing an MFA in Art, Theory, and Practice at Northwestern University.

Follow: @reneeroyale

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Create+Engage is a collaborative endeavor.

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