Featured Artist Khalisa Rae's Athenian Press Project

Wildlings, Featured Artist Khalisa Rae developed an amazing project to support young creatives - take a peek!


Featured Artist Khalisa Rae is the co-director and creative programs coordinator of Athenian Press and Workshops. Athenian was founded with the vision of providing a safe space for marginalised voices, support and resources to lift those voices up, and use writing and publishing to deconstruct and reshape the dominant ideologies that reinforce marginalisation. These are missions which align closely with the values of Animal Heart Press!

Athenian’s core values are:
Social justice
Feminism
Accessibility
Intersectionality
Artistic excellence
Creativity and imagination
Community building
Sustainability and independence


Based in Wilmington, North Carolina, Athenian provides a number of programs in support of its mission, including workshops, professional development, community outreach, retreats and festivals, educational outreach, and youth camps. These services are all designed to support the literary development of members of marginalised identities and sexualities. Athenian also offer a range of literary services including editing and proofreading, manuscript consultations, book design, and creative coaching. And as a non-profit organisation, income is churned back into Athenian to keep providing opportunities for young womxn, people of colour, transgender folx, people of colour, and other voices from the margins.

Khalisa is a former slam poet with considerable stage experience; and as part of Athenian she facilitates workshops and performances which empower the participants to have their voices truly heard. Recently, Athenian presented a powerful work titled ‘The Seven + Deadly Sins of Being a Woman’ at the Lumina Arts Festival in Wilmington, which allowed performers who’d lived experiences of racism, classism, gender inequality and abuse to express themselves in their own voices.

In addition to their workshops and community engagement programs, Athenian has a press arm seeking to publish anthologies of those whose voices have been silenced, as well as one book project a year. You can explore their submission guidelines here: https://athenianpw.org/publishing/press

Of course, projects with the size and scope of what Khalisa and her co-director Lori Wilson are developing here require support, both financial and otherwise. There is a donation option available, and Athenian has an online store with a range of products (hello there, funky Intersect tote bag!). Additionally, if you’re in the Wilmington area and would like to share your skills to help build a strong, positive community of writers, Athenian would love to hear from you about how you might be able to help: https://athenianpw.org/volunteer

If you’d like to learn more about Khalisa’s project, or to volunteer, shop, or donate, visit the Athenian Press and Workshops website:  https://athenianpw.org

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