In 2019, Brody Parrish Craig launched TWANG, an Arkansas based arts project centering trans, nonbinary, and gender non-comforming folks throughout the South and Midwest. First founded individually and funded through an Individual Artist Grant from Artists 360, Twang’s goal was to create a book-length publication featuring creative work from TGNC+ creators throughout the South & Midwest. Alongside an open call for submissions, BPC created a series of generative creative writing workshops centering TGNC poetry to foster connection and arts education within their community while simultaneously serving as outreach for soliciting contributors to a print and e-book anthology of creative works. These workshops were held in partnership with other organizations in the local community in the following places:
Disorderly Conduct: Trans Poetry Workshop, co-hosted by Twang and Open Mouth Reading Series, Fayetteville, AR, February 24, 2019
Disorderly Conduct: Trans Poetry Workshop, co-hosted by Twang and Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition, Little Rock, AR, March 29, 2019
Disorderly Conduct: Trans Poetry Workshop, co-hosted by Twang and Oklahomans for Equality, Tulsa, OK, April 13, 2019
Disorderly Conduct: Trans Poetry Workshop, co-hosted by Twang, Ad Astra Reading series, and Lawrence Public Library, Lawrence, KS, October 20, 2019 (Note: co-led with another TGNC poet/submission reader)
After implementing the workshop series and closing submissions, Brody Parrish Craig collaborated with Calypso Jane Selwyn & Maximiliano Calabotta to select contributors for Twang’s first anthology. Together, we published a print anthology with a small honorarium and print copies to twenty nine contributors across state lines and lived experiences. While our initial print run was small, the print anthology remains available through online retailers through Ingram Spark distribution. As the aim of TWANG was to create access to TGNC creators regardless of cost, we’ve also hosted the entire anthology as an e-book for free on our webpage since its launch in early 2021 to reach as many community members as possible. To date, TWANG’s first anthology publication is available to read for free online. While we have sold through our 100+ print copies, we have also donated dozens of copies to community members throughout Arkansas and other areas, most recently mailing five free copies to a community member who works with LGBTQ youth in Central Arkansas.
Other Programs: 2020-2021
Outside of the workshop series above and print anthology, TWANG has been grateful to partner with the following organizations on these events to celebrate TGNC+ artists in our region:
Crafting Community: TLGBQ+ DIY Art Drop-In, co-hosted with PFLAG NWA, January & February 2020 at Java Dude’s Coffee in Rogers, Arkansas
A gathering with a craft shared with participants each month to create or come socialize and make their own art with one another, especially centering sober & youth friendly TLGBQ+ community. This event was held once a month in person through the start of the pandemic, and then shifted into a virtual version that PFLAG NWA continued separate from TWANG throughout Covid-19.
TDOV Digital Party: Performance Showcase, co-hosted with Intransitive, Livestream, March 31 2020 Trans performers within Arkansas and beyond were curated to perform spoken word, music, and other live performances to support TGNC+ artists throughout the region. 9 performers (5 from Arkansas) were showcased, as well as two emcees from Arkansas. This event was livestreamed through Intransitive & TWANG’s social media platforms. To date, the event has received 1.9K views. Watch Here: https://www.facebook.com/intransitive.AR/videos/588217028439789
Disorderly Conduct: Trans Poetry Workshop, co-hosted with Intransitive, Virtual, March 28 2021
Rally For Trans Rights, Arkansas Capitol, in partnership with Intransitive, Young Trans Women’s Project, and Center for Artistic Revolution, March 18, 2021
Collaborated on planning rally at capitol with multiple organizations and created political education zines to distribute to community members in English & Spanish explaining anti-trans legislation in Arkansas’ 2021 Legislative Session to raise awareness and promote political education