Arsenal Center for the Arts

Text & Context is a free Monday night series that brings writers, artists and audience together in an open forum setting. Since 2009, writers and artists have been brought in to talk about craft and the creative process while presenting a slideshow of their work and engaging with the audience. Information on upcoming and past Text & Context presentations can be found here, including artist bios, video clips and links to artists’ websites.


This free Monday night series brings artists together in an open forum with slide shows, brief performances and audience give and take at the Arsenal Center for the Arts.

This series is brought to you by the support of
Peggy S. Rice & The Rice Family Foundation


Current Season
Past Talks

Steven Bergman

bergman-195x293Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 7:00pm


text & conText presents

Steven Bergman, award-winning Composer, Musical Director, Playwright, and Educator discusses the creative process and Watertown Children’s Theatre’s world premiere of his musical Reigning Cats & Dogs.










Stuart Murphy

stuartjmurphy-195x293Monday, March 16, 2015 @ 7:00pm

text & conText presents

Stuart J. Murphy, author of the MathStart books, which use visual learning strategies to teach mathematical concepts and the I See I Learn series, focusing on Social, Emotional, Health & Safety and Cognitive skills.










September 11, 2014: Candice Smith Corby



September 11, 2014, 7:30pm


text & conText presents


Candice Smith Corby, juror/curator of the Portrait Show: Perceptions of Self along with a panel of artists from the show discuss art & the creative process.













May 19, 2014: Clara Wainwright


Monday, May 19, 2014 @ 7:30pm


text & conText presents

Clara Wainwright is a quilt maker and public celebration artist.  She has been making quilts which deal with war, climate change, joy and fantasy since her son Dedalus was born 42 years go.  Many of her quilts are collaborations with community groups, such as the Tibetan community of Somerville, Raising Our Children’s Children, Entre Familia, Youville House, the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives. In 1969 she and her husband, Bill Wainwright, founded the Great Boston Kite Festival and in 1976 she founded First Night. In 2002 The DeCordova Museum held a retrospective which touched on her personal and collaborative work and public celebrations. Tonight she discusses the creative process with the text & conText audience.

April 7, 2014: Marie Craig & Cherie Clinton

clinton-craig-195x293Monday, April 7, 2014 @ 7:00pm

text & conText presents

Marie Craig & Cherie Clinton, co-directors Fountain Street Fine Art.

Fountain Street is an artist-run, member-based gallery in Framingham with a strong focus on regional art. These two artists will speak on the gallery, their art and creative process through slides and discussion.

Clinton’s paintings capture the moods, colors, and patterns of the landscape, inspired, for instance, by the unspoiled beauty of rural New England, the waterways of Venice and the surf of Greece’s Skopelos Island. “I want to grab hold of the elusive elements of mist and fog,” she writes, “to interpret the idea of space and light or an illusion of space that moves between two and three dimensions.”


Craig’s work as a medical photographer and illustrator informs her delicate, detailed photographs.  “Places that are unnoticed at best, eyesores at worst, attract me like a powerful magnet,” she says of her images of abandoned structures, luminous nature in miniature, and other incongruous, unexpected scenes she comes across in her travels.

March 3, 2014: Playwrights of New Rep’s Next Voices Fellowship Program


Monday, March 3, 2014 @ 7:00pm

text & conText presents

Playwrights of New Repertory Theater’s Next Voices Fellowship Program

Meet Evan Sanderson, Walt McGough, Deirdre Girard, and Danny Bryck whose plays will be performed as productions and staged readings this March, April and June. Now’s your chance to hear excerpts from the shows, learn how they created their works, ask questions and discuss the creative process.

November 13, 2013, Pablo Medina & Pablo A. Medina

man-who-wrote-on-water-pablo-medina-paperback-cover-artWednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 7:00pm

text & conText presents

“The Art of the Word”

An evening with Pablo Medina, poet, and his son, Pablo A. Medina, artist.


Please join us for a dynamic evening in which two wonderful artists present their work and discuss their creative process!  Wine and cheese reception begins at 6:30pm.  Program ends approximately 8:30pm.


Pablo Medina, poet is the author of 14 books of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and translation.  Until the age of 12, he lived in Havana, Cuba, then moved with his family to New York City, where his culture shock was softened by snow and by countless visits to the New York Public Library.  His work has appeared in major periodicals in the United States and abroad.  Currently, he lives in Boston, MA and teaches at Emerson College.


Pablo A. Medina describes himself as “a designer, artist, teacher, builder, filmmaker, photographer, socializer, lover, traveler, dancer, and cyclist.”  Inspired by the hand-painted signage of The Mission District in San Francisco, Medina has developed a series of paintings with words that provoke inquiry and meditation.  “One of my goals with this work was to have people find solace and identification with my stories of struggle and recognize the universality of suffering.”  Medina lives in New York City.

October 28, 2013

T+C Mockingbird card frontOctober 28, 2013


featuring filmmaker Sandra Jaffe, $5 admission.

Meet filmmaker Sandra Jaffe at a screening of her powerful documentary “Our Mockingbird,” which concerns a  collaborative production of Harper Lee’s iconic work “To Kill a Mockingbird” by two Birmingham, Alabama high schools – one black, one white.  Discussion with the filmmaker will follow.

May 22, 2013

Matthew Salesses


Originally from Watertown, Matthew Salesses is the author of the recently published novel in flash fiction I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying, a raw, honest look at parenting, commitment, morality, and the spaces that grow between and within us when we don’t know what to say. His other award-winning works include novels as well as stories and essays for The New York Times Motherlode blog, American Short Fiction and other media outlets. A Grub Street teacher, he also writes a column about his wife and baby for The Good Men Project where he serves as fiction editor.

April 22, 2013

Tamziq: Scattered and Connected


Artists from the current exhibit Tamziq: Scattered and Connected will speak on their art and this exhibit which explores the impact of war and oppression from American and Arabic perspectives, with a focus on Iraq. A reception for the exhibition will be held 5:30-7:30pm with the panel beginning at 7pm. An intro by Paul Atwood of the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences, followed by author Mark Kukis of Boston University, exhibiting artists Rania Matar, Robin Shore, Amy MacDonald, and moderated by Tamziq co-coordinator Ban AlMahfodh-Graime.