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SKIL Offers A Variety of New Workshops

by Andy Rausch and Joe Reinecker

The Parsons SKIL branch is providing two new workshops, which are open to customers, staff, and the general public. These programs are Creative Writing with SKIL and Art Exploration. Both are completely free. According to SKIL Special Programs Coordinator John Stacy Denham, those interested in attending either of these workshops are encouraged to go to the SKIL Resource Facebook page, find the event, and click “going,” or to simply call Denham at (620) 421-5502 and let him know they will be in attendance. Both workshops will become regular events, providing there are enough attendees to sustain them.

The Creative Writing with SKIL workshop will be held at 6:00PM on July 18th at the SKIL office at 1801 Main Street in Parsons. “For this workshop I've got two great writers who will be coming in and working with and assessing the attendees' writing,” explains Denham.

The Art Exploration workshop will be held at 7:00PM on July 25th. “We will be having local artists come in and teach how to create in different types of media,” says Denham.

Denham says there was initially a third program planned, which would have been a movie night where attendees would have screened movies and discussed their context, but the program ultimately fell through due to “too much red tape.”

Denham says he wants to see community members, SKIL customers, and staff involved with these programs to show that there is no difference between different types of people. “The hope is that these programs will engender some connections between people in the community and people from SKIL,” says Denham. He explains that a SKIL customer whom he sees daily has made a habit out of giving him a hug each day and telling him she loves him. “I realized at a certain point that she had gone from being a customer I was serving to being a friend,” he says. “And that's really how we understand that the differences between us aren't that great—by becoming friends with one another. I wanted the chance for community members to mingle with customers and staff and find out about them as people.”

So far the respsonse to these programs has been positive. “People are interested in coming,” says Denham. “We've got about 18 people who've expressed interest in each of these programs, and three or four people who are definitely attending.”