Shout Out Poems, Writing Our Way Through Series, Teachers & Writers Magazine, April 2020
Lost + Found, 2021 with support from City Arts Corps
“Lost & Found” was a community arts project that explored the human journey of losing connection, faith, trust, or joy-- and then finding it again— as it related to our personal and collective experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking place in the early fall of 2021, the project functioned as a “summer harvest,” a chance for New Yorkers to reflect through writing on their personal experiences of losing and finding vitality within this unprecedented context. The project included both a creative writing workshop and an opportunity for drop-in engagement through contributing reflections to a collaborative canvas in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.
Inside Norman Street, 2017 + 2015 with support from Queens Council on the Arts
"I've lived on Norman Street for more than 15 years and I don't know my neighbors. The day after our first meeting, I ran into two people from the group who I would have otherwise walked right past, never even really seeing them. It was nice to recognize and be recognized. This space has brought together outwardly different people sharing the same human experience. The commonalities are vaster than the differences. More powerful too." -Marsha Sinanan, Project Participant, 2017
"Libby Mislan – is the girl who came up with the idea to unite the residents of Norman Street and gave us a chance to learn how to discover a little hidden talent inside us, even when you think that it is impossible. This is my second project with Libby Mislan and to tell the truth I was very skeptical at the beginning of the first one. I decided to participate in it only because my uncle was a famous Kyrgyz writer (Alykul Osmonov) and I always strived to be at least a little bit like him and I always liked literature and poetry. Genes, I guess. I even had published a small book of my poems and stories in Russian. Speaking in English is challenging for me at times, writing is even a bigger challenge. Therefore, I wanted to challenge and improve myself. Long story short, it was scary and at times frustrating, but little by little I started to feel myself more open, I am able to write stories, poems, and share it all. It is amazing! Libby Mislan is an inspirational teacher, writer, and artist. Through these projects, she constantly shows and proves that there are more things in this world that unite then divide us. We are all humans with the same red blood, same vices, and same feelings. We need to coexist and learn from each other together. Thanks to Libby Mislan and her friends Zoe Rappoport and Yo-E Ryou, this is something that we do in this project!" -Anara Myrzali, Project Participant, 2015 & 2017
"It's a very inspiring and motivating group! I go there and I have no idea what we would be talking about, but I leave each meeting with much to think about and very inspired. Last night one of the attendees said while commenting on an issue: 'It's very challenging, but not limiting.' That phrase kept echoing in my mind since then. It motivated me! No matter how the challenges we face, it shouldn't limit my abilities to achieve." -Hatem El-Gamasy, Project Participant 2017
"I am a community-based artist and educator and it seemed like a great way to connect creatively with my neighbors. I have been amazed by the warmth and comradery being generated in such a short period of time. I have lived in New York for 20 years and this is the first time I am connecting with my neighbors on this level, beyond exchanging pleasantries in passing, or helping with little tasks. I think it is really important for community building, especially in today's climate. We have engaged in really interesting conversations, reflected on our lives and learned about each other's lives, and all this has informed the writing experience in a really positive way." -Magin Schantz, Project Participant 2017