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An image of many women in pink
Events, Speaking Engagements, Writing

Turn It Up and Disrupt

Find me at UBC’s International Women’s Day Festival

On March 9th, I’ll be returning to The University of British Columbia to speak about creativity and art and social change. Strangely enough, I’ll be one of the classrooms that I once inhabited as an art history student. Little did I know that one day I’d be back for Turn It Up and Disrupt.

My first talk in the morning will be talk with Q&A on social change and creativity. In the afternoon, Laura Farina and I stage a participatory writing session under our artistic collective called The Imprint. Come write with us!

Fundamental Rights Photo by Angelo Wagan on Unsplash

Workshop | Using Your Creativity for Social Change | Frederic Lasserre 105 (LASR) | 11:15-12:15pm

Author Leanne Prain (Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit, Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery, and Strange Material: Storytelling Through Textiles) will give a talk about how artists, designers, and other creatives can use their work to activate social or political change.

What can we do as designers, artists, and makers to incite positive change in our communities? How do we make space for creativity, while also expanding our practice to include other voices? How do we know if our work has made impact? How can we scale our practice and share it with others? How can we change history by documenting and unearthing artistic practices? Why does collaboration make us stronger?

Art & Writing Workshop | Invite Her to the Table | Lasserre 105 (LASR) | Drop in from 1:30-4:00pm

Inspired by Judy Chicago’s 1979 visual artwork The Dinner Party, which invited accomplished women from history to fictional dinner party; Invite Her to the Table asks participants to invite women and femmes, to tell us who they value. Through participatory writing, we will invite women that we admire to attend a contemporary dinner party in 2019. We will write on the tablecloths, napkins and place settings – and bring others to the table.

This project is presented by The Imprint, a literary collective in Vancouver that engages citizens through participatory writing projects.  

To find out more about the Festival, and to purchase tickets, visit their website.

Zine image
Creativity, Events, Writing

Art & Activism Talk at the CV Web Posse

I’ll be giving a talk about Activism through Art & Design at the Comox Valley Web Posse on June 28th. As I grew up in the valley, I’m really looking forward to meeting the new creative community there, as it has grown leaps and bounds since I left in the 1990’s.

This is a new talk that I’ve developed over the last year that I hope will spur creatives to think of how to responsibly tackle social justice issues through their creative work. Here is the official description of the event:

Activism Through Art & Design Talk

What can we do as designers, artists, and makers to incite positive change in our communities? How do we make space for creativity, while also expanding our practice to include other voices? How do we know if our work has made impact? How can we scale our practice and share it with others? How can we change history by documenting and unearthing artistic practices? Why does collaboration make us stronger?

Author Leanne Prain will take you on an exploratory tour of how artists and designers can use their work to activate social or political change. By sharing a wide variety of examples from around the world, Leanne will discuss how art can be used to implement civic collaborations, community co-creations, conversation-worthy street art, and covert storytelling. Learn how to implement your creative work in a way that will have true and long-lasting social impact.

This 45-minute talk will be accompanied by large-scale visuals, with a round-table discussion to follow.

NIC, Tyee Hall, Room 203
Cost: $10 includes door prizes
Students: free

Kim Werker and Leanne Prain wearing pussy hats at the Vancouver Womens' March
Events

International Women’s Day Talk

Knitting and activism go hand-in-hand.

UBC Bookstore, Be a Knit ActivistOn International Women’s Day, I will be speaking on the topic of feminism, art and activism.

Be Bold for Change
March 8, 2017, 5 pm
UBC Bookstore, The University of British Columbia
Book signing to follow

Prior to my talk, the bookstore will host knitting lessons. I encourage knitters (or knitters in the making) to craft while I talk.

Find out more about the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/139446109907260

If you are in the area drop by, knit some stitches, and say hello!

 

 

Book Tour, Books, Strange Material

Greetings from Oakland!

It’s day three of our Make Your Voice heard tour, and Kim Werker and I are working away at a Peet’s Coffee Shop in Oakland, California.

Yesterday we had a fabulous day of touring San Francisco with artist Sonya Philip who gave a true tour with stops at Scrap San Francisco (@scrapsf), a non-profit urban recycling centre focused on reuse for artists, teachers and makers and food stops at famous Tartine Bakery and tacos in the Mission District (which are just famously delicious).

Following our first event at The Booksmith in Haight Ashbury, SF (see pic above) with Rena Tom, we were hosted by Lisa Congdon at Diesel Bookstore, a wonderful bookstore here in Oakland, California. It was a thrill to hash out topics of creativity, creative demons, ‘women’s work’, and creating in the age of social media with these amazing smart women to a full house in Oakland.

We also snuck in a mac & cheese dinner with the amazing knit lit author Rachael Herron, who is a total delight to talk to about life, writing, knitting and all things in-between. My head is spinning from such a wonderful couple of days. I’ve been instagramming my favourite moments as they happen.

Both bookstores are really perfect bookstores in the sense that they love books and the people who write them – we spent our time before the panel at Diesel writing on their lists of “10 Books that Influenced Your Life”. With handwritten shelf talkers (the recommendation cards that stick out from bookshelves) and attentive staff, both are prime examples of  why we need small bookstores to thrive and flourish – there’s a personal care that you receive as both an author or a reader that a big box store or online retailer just can’t replicate. I heart independent booksellers (and if you do too, check out Diesel’s Indiegogo for a refurb after 25 years).

Part of our adventure at Scrap SF was collecting materials for our workshop tonight at MakeShift Society San Francisco. Kim will be leading participants through creating their own Mighty Ugly Creature, I will follow this up with some creativity prompts, and Betsy will finish our Round Robin with her own thoughts on sewing and psychology. There’s still a few spots left, and you can register here.

Tomorrow, we’ll be catching a fight to be part of a panel at Powell’s City of Books in Portland for Design Week and a workshop with MakerNation. For details of Portland, Seattle, and our other tour stops, visit my event page.

Book Tour, Books, Events, Textiles, Writing Life

California, here we come!

A yarn bombing of Union Square by IshKnits, 2013

In less than 24 hours, Betsy Greer, Kim Werker and I will be in San Francisco! We’re so pleased to be starting our multi-city author tour Make Your Voice Heard: The Intersection of Craft, Creativity, and Activism of North America to celebrate our three new books. I hope that you’ll be able to come join us at an event, as not only will there be our trifecta of voices but we have some truly amazing people moderating our conversations!

Here’s where we will be (and who we will be with!) in the Bay Area:

Our Host in San Francisco Rena Tom

Makeshift Founder, craft & small business sage, and marketing editor of Anthology Magazine Rena Tom will be our host in San Francisco. 

SAN FRANCISCO – panel discussion
Wednesday, October 1st, 7:30pm. Free!
Booksmith, San Francisco, CA
Moderated conversation with Rena Tom
RSVP on Facebook

Lisa-6_lowres

Artist and illustrator extraordinaire Lisa Congdon (and author of the recently released Art Inc.) will be our host in Oakland. 

OAKLAND – panel discussion
Thursday, October 2nd, 7pm. Free!
Diesel Bookstore, Oakland, CA
Moderated conversation with Lisa Congdon
RSVP on Facebook

MakeShiftSociety

Lovely Makeshift Society – where we’ll be teaching creative workshops in Brooklyn and San Francisco! I’ll be teaching some writing methods to loosen your brain and ego for creative projects and I promise that it will fun and *not scary*!

SAN FRANCISCO – creativity workshop!
Friday, October 3rd, 6:30pm
MakeShift Society, San Francisco, CA
Hands-on Workshop (Purchase here!)

Betsy Greer will tour in support of Craftivism: The Art & Craft of Activism (Published May 2014). I will share Strange Material: Storytelling Through Textiles (Brand new tomorrow! October 1 2014). Kim Werker will tour in support of Make it Mighty Ugly: Exercises and Advice for Getting Creative Even When It Ain’t Pretty (September 2014).

Following the Bay Area, we will be travelling for panels and workshops in Portland, Seattle, Vancouver BC, Toronto, Philly (details pending), Boston, Brooklyn and DC. See the full tour line-up here: http://www.leanneprain.com/events.

Book Tour, Books, Events, Workshop, Writing Life

Book Tour Announced!

I’m thrilled to announce the details of my fall book tour with fellow authors Betsy Greer and Kim Werker.

Our brilliant publishers Arsenal Pulp Press & Sasquatch Books have partnered to send us on an incredible fall tour where we’ll visit 12 venues in eight different cities across the US & Canada. We’ll be participating in panels on craft, creativity, design and activism, and we’ll also be teaching hands-on workshops. In our workshops, we’ll be doing somewhat of a crafting ’round-robin’ and for my portion, I’ll be teaching story techniques for artists of all kinds, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time.

I have to say that I’m in somewhat disbelief that this tour has come together is such a cohesive way. It had germinated as a half-thought that I had scratched onto a scrap of paper while working late at the night on a draft of my book, “Talk to Betsy and Kim about going on a book tour.”

A few weeks after, I shyly mentioned the idea to Kim while meeting for sushi and she responded enthusiastically. Now, six months later, we actually have a tour schedule with an amazing roster of designers, curators, and artists as hosts. We’re all amazed at how this has come together.

Here’s the nitty-gritty of our tour:

Make Your Voice Heard: The Intersection of Craft, Creativity, and Activism

Betsy Greer will tour in support of Craftivism: The Art & Craft of Activism (Published May 2014). Leanne Prain will share Strange Material: Storytelling Through Textiles (Forthcoming October 2014). Kim Werker will tour in support of Make it Mighty Ugly: Exercises and Advice for Getting Creative Even When It Ain’t Pretty (Forthcoming September 2014).

As event times are confirmed, I’ll be updating details on the Upcoming Events page of my website. In addition to my travels with Betsy and Kim, I’ll be participating in additional events on my own in Vancouver, Courtenay, and Seattle and they’ll be listed there as soon as I confirm with the venues.