“The universe is made up of stories not atoms.” - Muriel Rukeyser, Poet and Activist

Workshop Offerings

Family Heirloom Arts workshops are especially designed to engage participants in the creative process, while connecting them to a community of other writers, artists and personal historians. Participants have the opportunity to develop their skills in creative writing and visual art to bring their stories to life. We offer a host of workshops designed to introduce participants to the field of personal history and the life storytelling process, where they can learn how to get started on their own illustrated heirloom book projects. All of the program topics listed below can be offered as a two-hour workshop, a half-day retreat, or as a multiple session class. Please contact us for rates and to discuss options for bringing a Family Heirloom Arts program to your family, community or educational group. Check out our artist-in-residency programs to learn more about programs designed especially for K-12 school groups.

Introductory Workshops

Exploring the Power of Stories

Create original artwork and writing inspired by your family’s stories, traditions and culture! Explore how your family stories have had a significant impact in shaping who you are today and what you believe is valuable to pass on to the next generation. You will learn how to combine reproductions of your family photographs and painting illustrations to create narrative images. Your completed art, along with the corresponding stories make great gifts for family members and can also be featured in your own illustrated heirloom book.

The Art of Personal History: Tips for Creating Your Own Illustrated Family Heirloom Book

Discover how to unearth hidden family treasures, conduct interviews, research, write and illustrate your own illustrated family heirloom book. Creating an heirloom book is a wonderful way to preserve your family stories, honor your ancestors, deepen your understanding of your relationship with your own life, and share the wisdom and experiences of the past with future generations. This workshop is designed to give you the tools you need to get started on your own personal history project, strategies to overcome roadblocks that may present themselves in the process, and how to create the type of legacy project your family will treasure for generations to come.

Life Milestone Workshops

These workshops focus on specific themes central to exploring life milestones.

Art of Motherhood

Discover a creative and reflective space amidst your busy life to connect with yourself and other moms in a supportive and inspiring environment. Learn techniques for utilizing creative writing, drawing, painting, and collage to explore the journey into motherhood and the adventure of the early years of parenthood. You will have the opportunity to share insights and experiences with other moms through the process of turning the raw material of your daily life into fuel for the creative process. Completed art and writing pieces serve as a way to document and honor this incredible period of transformation and adaptation.

The Art of Transformation: Exploring Life Milestones through Art and Story

Explore an important life milestone through utilizing drawing, painting, collage and creative writing to create your own narrative images. Discover how the creative process can support you as you navigate an important juncture in your life, or prepare to usher in a time of change. This class offers you the opportunity to focus on a turning point that is especially relevant and meaningful for you. Potential topics include: the loss of a loved one, getting married, becoming a parent, celebrating a significant anniversary or birthday, moving, changing jobs, and discovering one’s passion and purpose.

Memorial Stories

Celebrate and honor the lives of loved ones who have passed away through writing and illustrating memorial stories. The workshop will focus on the power of memories, the healing benefits of the personal history process, and how you can turn a collection of your stories into an illustrated family heirloom book.

Life Stories & Family History Workshops

These workshops focus on specific themes central to the life storytelling process.

Creating a Family Tree

Bring images of your family together to create a unique family tree illuminating your family’s growth and the connections between generations. Learn how to combine reproductions of your family photographs and painting to celebrate your lives together. Completed projects make great gifts for special occasions.

Creating A Legacy: Turning Genealogical Research Into An Illustrated Heirloom Book

Are you passionate about researching your family? Have you uncovered fascinating information and stories about your family history but don’t know what to do next? This workshop is designed to give you tips on how to turn your research into an illustrated heirloom book, which can be shared with family members and future generations. Participants will explore how to illustrate their book using personal photographs, documents, and memorabilia. Options for designing and self-publishing your book will also be explored.

Stories of Culture and Traditions

Create original artwork and writing inspired by your family’s stories, culture and traditions! Explore how your cultural inheritance has shaped your life, your values and your sense of personal identity. What traditions have you carried on from your ancestors? How have they changed over time? What new traditions have emerged? You will learn how to combine reproductions of your family photographs with painting, drawing and collage to create your own heirloom art.

Stories of Place

Is there a small town that your family has lived in for generations? Is there a childhood home that holds the stories of your youth in its walls? Learn how to combine creative writing and image making to explore how your environment has had a significant impact in shaping your experiences. This class will also delve into the intersection between stories of place and migration stories. We will consider how moving from place to place has affected your family’s culture, traditions and way of life.

Celebrating Family Stories (Intergenerational workshop)

Write and illustrate your family stories in collaboration with your children, parents or grandparents. Family members are encouraged to participate together in this collaborative, intergenerational workshop. Together you will learn how to combine writing, drawing and collage to explore your family’s stories, traditions and culture. Completed projects make great keepsakes and gifts for special occasions.

Custom Workshops

Get in touch to have a conversation about how we can design a custom workshop, exploring your own topics of interest as they relate to life storytelling. Custom workshops offer families, friends and community groups an opportunity to engage in a hands-on, interactive art and writing program focusing on personal storytelling, designed especially for your group. Workshops can focus on the range of topics listed above, or on a related topic of your choice. Participants are invited to step out of their daily routine and delve more deeply in their creativity and their connections with each other. Custom workshops are offered for adults, children and intergenerational groups. Contact us to set-up a custom workshop for your group.