In the stories we tell ourselves, we tell ourselves.
— Michael Martone

WE'RE JUST GETTING STARTED AS A NONPROFIT BUT WE'VE ALWAYS BEEN COMMITTED TO CHICAGO'S WRITING COMMUNITY

Our vision is for Hypertext Studio to become a force in Chicago' 'social justice storytelling' arena. In the years to come, we plan on teaching fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction writing to people whose life experiences have found them recovering from addiction, currently in or recently released from prison, people in homeless shelters, or to any group whose voice has been silenced and needs to be heard. At the end of each year, we plan on publishing a journal of the poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction written in these workshops. We will then distribute those journals at a special reading we will host for our clients.

We haven't waited around to become a nonprofit. Instead, we've already been teaching pro bono workshops all over the city. We've done so much with so little. And we plan on doing so much more.

For example, in 2016, before we received our nonprofit status, Hypertext Studio's first pro bono project was a collaboration with the City of Chicago and the Young Author Playlist to teach a series of eight consecutive workshops to Chicago Public School high school students. These students traveled up to three hours on a Saturday – from tough neighborhoods – to participate in the workshops. Their final pieces were read at a Story Week event hosted by Columbia College Chicago and attended by over 100 people. We also published these young writers in Hypertext Magazine.

Now that we have our nonprofit status, we are chomping at the bit to work with new clients. Contact Christine Rice (crice@hypertextmag.com) if you'd like more information about how we might collaborate with your social service agency.

Here's a video by Nat Soti documenting our collaboration with the City of Chicago's Young Author Playlist.

 

THE FUTURE

Once we receive funding, we plan on creating a number of programs. One program we envision is a collaboration between local museums, social service agencies, and writers and visual artists. The program will be structured in three parts. Clients will visit a museum to view, for example, 'dreamlike' paintings, photography, and sculpture. Next, clients will write their own dreams or dreamlike instances. Following that, clients will work with visual artists to create their own 'dreamlike' art.