Surrounded by the rich cultural history of the old west, nearly 70 teen girls experienced historical artifacts, Hopi culture, and more, at WriteGirl’s 12th Annual Creative Nonfiction Workshop on Saturday, March 2nd. One WriteGirl mentee commented, "I felt like I walked back in time today."
Drawing from personal experiences, family history, and stories from the Autry’s various collections, WriteGirl teens learned how to craft compelling memoirs. Under the guidance of Native Voices playwright Diane Glancy, visual artist Andrea Rogers, and celebrated author Amy Friedman, the girls explored interactive exhibits about culture, immigration, social change, and self-reflection.
Immediately following the intensive writing workshop, at 3:15 p.m., the girls read their pieces before an audience of friends, family, and WriteGirl mentors in the beautiful Heritage Court. The space boasts an iconic mural by Disney artist Guy Deel, depicting the “Spirits of the West” – natives, pioneers, cowboys – who challenged and inspired the girls to create vibrant and historically relevant narratives.
Among the highlights was a story about two young children living vicariously through “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” a poem describing moving outside of a fishbowl and transitioning into college, and a piece about being forced to go on a family roadtrip while suffering from a recent break up.
A big thank you to The Autry Museum and Native Voices for hosting us in this culturally enriching venue.