Twice a month MWC writers meet with residents of Talbot Youth Homes for evening writing workshops. Collaborations between youth home residents and disabled adults in joint writing sessions are also part of Common Ground.
The Missoula Writing Collaborative began holding poetry workshops with developmentally-disabled clients from Opportunity Resources in the early l990's, in collaboration then with Very Special Arts. We also started working with young people living at Talbot Youth Homes around that time in separate residencies. Then, for a number of years, we combined these writing workshops, using a local fire station as a meeting place, in order to provide accessibility.
Art is the common ground where exceptional people meet. The disabled participants humbled us with their original artwork and drawings, their tangible yearning to connect. The Talbot Youth Homes residents learned to express themselves creatively for a positive experience, no matter what the topic. Our goal in this program is to provide a safe, acceptable method to make feelings clear, as people in difficult circumstances struggle mightily to be heard.