Block by Block

Creative writing, leadership, and community building.

Block by Block is Deep Center’s year-long program for creative writing, leadership, and community-building. Up to 40 young authors (ages 15-18) who have completed the Young Author Project join adult artists, allies, and community stakeholders to celebrate and elevate communities by researching, documenting, and remixing the past and present stories of their families, streets, and community.

Block by Block writers leave the four walls of the typical institutionalized learning environment by meeting at community partner sites, such as the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, to conduct street-level participatory action research on a particular neighborhood or culture. Through this process, participants discover Savannah’s past and unfolding stories, find their own stories’ place in Savannah and society at large, and use their creative writing to speak out on critical issues facing their families and communities.

Participants master the art of written and performance storytelling in a variety of genres—including poetry, spoken word, and realistic and speculative fiction—through rigorous creative-writing workshops. They also collaborate with local artists throughout the program to render their unique stories through visual and other media.

Block by Block culminates every year with a celebration featuring public art, a live reading by young and adult authors, foods, games, and lots of joy.