Using her own creativity, Rachel Werner helps showcase Wisconsin artists’ work with a focus on diverse voices.
Rachel spoke at the May 6 Waunakee Rotary meeting about The Little Book Project she created. The limited-edition books are the product of a community arts and nonprofit printmaking series. They weave together visual arts and literary work based on a central theme.
With funding from various arts and community organizations, Rachel found a way to remove the cost barriers for artists wishing to share their work. The books are also available at no cost to community members although COVID-19 has complicated distribution of the three editions printed so far.
“The idea initially was that all the books would be given out for free at local events,” Rachel said, adding the first was printed a year ago in March, just as the pandemic emerged in Wisconsin.
The books include work by visual artists and writers who identify with a marginalized community. Each has a different theme. The first was advocacy, the second was mental health and the third was places and spaces.
The fourth edition, a partnership with Monroe Street Fine Arts Center, will be the first edition created completely by kids under age 19. It is due to be printed in November, and Rachel hopes these can be distributed at public events.
Sponsorship of the books has grown, and a grant from Dane Arts allowed Rachel to create a website for the project,
The website includes a list of organizations that support artists, along with artist profiles.
“It’s been really rewarding to connect with artists in the community,” Rachel said.
Rachel teaches at the Loft Literary Center and Hugo House and has worked in social media, marketing and public relations. She also teaches a Decolonize Your Bookshelf class geared to teachers and librarians looking for books by diverse authors to share with students.
Other news:
-Phil Willems and other club members will be selling flower baskets.
-The Waunakee Rotary Club will award four $1,500 scholarships to four graduating high school seniors. Recipients of the 2021 Waunakee Rotary Foundation Service to Humanity Scholarships are Waunakee High School seniors Mathew Karls, Emily Gavinski and Cameron Taylor and Edgewood High School senior Michael Regnier.
-Plans are in the works for the end of the year Steak Fry. That signals the new Rotary year as the new club board of directors takes office.
-Tri 4 Schools is a week from Saturday for those who signed up.
-Club secretary Jim Elvekrog announced the donations approved by the club’s board of directors, as follows: $2,500 for Tri 4 Schools; $250 for National Night Out where club members will help grill out; $250 for St. John’s Safety Patrol. The club will also be an elite sponsor for the WaunaFest Run, with a $750 sponsorship.
Birthdays: May 15, Mick Holm
Anniversaries: May 16, David and Connie Rupp; May 17, Leonard and Becky Allen; May 17, Nick and Elaine Mischler.