The Voices of Creative Change Initiative

The Voices of Creative Change Initiative | Fugitive Laboratory for Ideas and Creativity (VCCI | FLIC) emerges as an essential component in Plains Art Museum’s educational, curatorial, and administrative teams. The purpose is to develop and manage dynamic and community-responsive programming at Plains Art Museum. VCCI-FLIC also generates an emerging set of experimental and conceptual artistic programs and projects that are designed to recognize, highlight, and elevate diverse artists’ voices, build trust between the Museum and vulnerable communities, and advance the Museum’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (I.D.E.A.) motivations. VCCI |FLIC generates strategic planning, collaboration, and evaluation/assessment that concomitantly supports and delivers compelling programs that advance creativity and foster interconnected experiences for diverse audiences. Consequently, VCCI-FLIC remains capable of supporting both internal and external initiatives and programmatic efforts.  

The Voices of Creative Change Initiative is made possible by the generous endowment support of Mr. Richard and Commissioner Arlette Preston.


Given this, VCCI-FLIC advances three fundamental goals:  

  • To elevate diverse and artistically creative voices
  • To advance the Museum’s I.D.E.A.’s motivations 
  • To build trust between the museum and vulnerable communities  


Underscoring and guiding VCCI-FLIC’s fundamental goals, are several imperatives—which include but are not limited to the following: 

  • To think and work under erasure 
  • To pursue productive transgression 
  • To advance relevant cultural critique 

All of this means, for example, that VCCI-FLIC takes up an intentionally aggressive polemic with the paradigm referred to as “the West and its historical formations (ablism, sexism, racism, homo-/transphobia) as well as persistently duressing dehumanizing forms of sexualized colonial dynamics that appear and emerge from within mundane social relations and cause harm). It asks: are other ways of knowing and existing possible? If so, can we assume that they will be more humane, ethical, and just?  


Dr. Kelvin Monroe, Voices of Creative Change Coordinator
701.551.6120 •


Critical Grooves Book Lab
Select Thursdays, 6:30-8 PM

  • September 7: The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
  • October 26: Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
  • November 30: Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder by Valerie Burns
  • December 28: Devil in the Blue Dress by Walter Mosely

For our fourth session (Fall-Winter ’23), we will read four riveting novels by some acclaimed writers. Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys animates and dramatizes the archive in a devastating and driven narrative that disrupts the comforting mythology upon which notions of sanctity are constructed. Akwaeke Emezi’s Freshwater, demands that we strap in and hold on as it embarks on a journey through Igbo ontology—a journey grounded in a series of refusals of both ‘tradition’ and ‘modernity.’ V. M. Burns’ Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder promises a sassy, stylish mystery set in a cozy little Michigan town—the first installment of Burns’s  Baker Street Mystery series. Finally, Walter Mosely’s classic Devil in a Blue Dress takes us on a scintillating ride down mean streets, through bedeviling political plots, and right into the unconscious bedrooms of American relationships. 

If this assemblage of original and diverse voices sounds compelling, please join us at Plains Art Museum on the select dates below. Light refreshments and beverages will be provided. Feel free to bring your own beverages/snacks, as well. To encourage broad participation, you may acquire the selected texts through convenient means, as per your situation. Also note: Critical Grooves Book Lab selections will also be available for purchase from The Store at Plains Art Museum. Ages 16+ are welcome. We exercise respect among ourselves.  

For more information and/or participation contact Dr. Kelvin Monroe