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 •


Writing the Self: Poetics & Portraits
Four Sessions: Sundays on January 29, February 5, 9, 16, 26
Special Guest Teaching Artists: Ann “Sole Sister” Johnson and Stephanie Lemmer

Are you interested in visual art (printmaking, collage, assemblage, drawing, and photography) and writing (narrative self-reflection)? Join Plains Art Museum every Sunday beginning on January 29th through February 26th for an experimental conceptual art program that will explore and examine identity and social issues while also addressing self-awareness, confidence, and leadership potential for young women who embrace, embody, and declare different identities. For each session, teaching artists will guide participants as they engage with themes around identity, self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-potential by asking participants to respond to an array of cultural texts (artworks, lyric song, and poetic verse). During the five weeks, participants will construct a “self” that takes into account both written and visual creative activity. This creative activity will be assembled, documented, and chronicled into Art books produced by participants. All materials and supply costs for this program will be provided. Ages 16+ are welcomed. We exercise respect among ourselves.

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

Critical Grooves Book Lab
Select Thursdays, 6:30-8 PM
February 23: Midnight Hour (Stories 1-10)
March 23: Midnight Hour (Stories 11-20)
April 27: Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder
May 18: Devil in the Blue Dress

For our third iteration, we will read a collection of twenty short stories by twenty writers of color as well as works by both Valerie Burns (aka V. M. Burns) and Walter Mosely. In Midnight Hour (edited by Abby L. Vandiver), we discover twenty voices of color who take us through an expansive terrain of crime and mystery writing, sure to keep you reading well past the dead of night. Valerie Burns’s 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 house of American-as-apple-pie-style relationships.

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 welcomed. We exercise respect among ourselves.

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