Free writing workshops for blind and visually impaired start Saturday | Communities

A free five-month writing program for the blind and visually impaired, led by four local professional writers, will begin Saturday.

The program, called “The Pathways through the Dark,” will include in-person and virtual classes on poetry, fiction, and memoir writing, and will end with a published book and an art gallery exhibit.

Classes will be held from 11:30 am to 1 pm every Saturday through July 30 and focus on participants sharing their stories with the intent of learning more about the common human experience of loss, grief and resilience.

“Storytelling is the core of any culture,” explained Kelly Buckley Lang of the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center, who has created the program and applied for grants to fund it. “The stories gathered by our group will focus on challenges, hardships, victories and coping mechanisms incorporated by those impacted by vision loss… passing on knowledge, creating empathy and helping create a shared understanding among those dealing with vision loss or other losses and life altering circumstances.”

Sponsored by Humanities New York in partnership with Visually Impaired Advancement, along with the NACC and NIOGA Library System, the program will offer a variety of free classes accessible online or in-person via classes at the Lewiston Public Library, 305 S. 8th St. , Lewiston. Participants will be encouraged to write or speak their stories.

Teachers include Lewiston poet Robert M. Giannetti, Lewiston author Norah Perez, Niagara Gazette contributor Michele DeLuca, and Lewiston librarian and author Michelle Kratts. Participants can enroll in any class or join at any point in the program and can select specific classes or attend every class. Remote classes are provided via Zoom and Google Classroom on computers, landlines or cell phones. The links are available to those who register online at the Niagara Arts and Cultural website, www.thenacc.org.

The first writing workshop, “Short Story and Microfiction Writing Class,” will begin at 11:30 am Saturday and will continue each Saturday through April 30. In all classes, participants will be encouraged to write or speak their stories. Bold lined paper and bold writing pens will be provided at in person classes.

“Poetry” classes will begin at 11:30 am on May 7 and continue each Saturday through June 11.

“Short Story and Memoir Writing,” will be held from 11:30 am to 1 pm on June 18 and will continue each Saturday through July 30.

Participants who need more information or help with accessibility, are asked to contact Kelly Lang Buckley at the NACC at 716-282-7530, ext. 6 or via email at kelly@thenacc.org.

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