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Writing On It All was a participatory writing project open to all interested members of the public, from 2013 to 2017.

Video by Valarie Lapinski

In dozens of sessions, participants were invited to write on the interior surfaces of an out-of-use house. No two sessions were alike. Poets, street artists, activists, choreographers, domestic workers, professional writers, and artists led experiments dealing with diverse topics, using all kinds of materials, including music and projection, charcoal and chalk, pencil and paint. Facilitators and session members took to the walls to write, attending to the dynamics of writing as well as to the pressing issues of the day. Everything counted as writing.  

Between 2013 and 2017, Writing On It All held five seasons of unique, immersive programming in partnership with the Trust for Governors Island in the New York City harbor. Each season featured a slate of artists, thinkers, and cultural workers who, in collaboration with Writing On It All directors, developed site-specific workshops in an abandoned house in the Nolan Park neighborhood of Governors Island. Featured artists included social practice artist Paul Ramirez Jonas, choreographer KJ Holmes, poet Edwin Torres, cultural worker Shani Jamila, and educator Mariame Kaba. Writing On It All also produced sessions in partnership with organizations such as the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture, Kundiman, Kristiania Collective, and York College. Writing On It All also produced sessions with the Historic House Trust of New York, and CalArts’ & NOW writing festival. Writing On It All was made possible by several generous private donations, as well as the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the New York Council for the Humanities.  

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