Mariam I. Williams is creating narratives affirming Black Womanhood.
5

patrons

$40
per month
Mariam I. Williams
Writer | Dancer | Arts Educator | Public Historian


Hello, and welcome to my Patreon page!

Update 8/4/2018: Some people hate the monthly contribution idea but still want to give something. If that's you, cool. 
Hit me up on PayPal
Patreon Intro Video from Mariam Williams on Vimeo.

My name is Mariam I. Williams, and I write to find answers, dance to find joy, research the past to find understanding in the present, and teach to spread the knowledge and joy. Whether I tell the narrative through literary nonfiction, poetry, essays, traditional West African dance adapted for Zumba, a podcast, or a documentary, my work affirms Black Womanhood and all its complexity. 


My life as a writer/dancer/arts educator/public historian looks like this:
  • I spend 20 or more hours a week at my computer writing literary nonfiction, essays, and poems, and/or thinking, revising, and submitting what I wrote to various publications. 
  • I spend 5 hours a week teaching dance fitness classes.
  • Every four to six weeks, I spend 4-5 hours developing and practicing new choreography for my classes.
  • Every few months I come up with a brilliant idea for a museum education program or after school intensive that combines historical research, creative writing, and other forms of creative expression.
  • I research and apply for grants to fund those ideas. The heaviest deadlines are between March 1 and August 1 and Dec 1 and Jan 31.
  • I research and apply for residencies that increase my connections to writing communities.
  • I research and apply for grants to fund attendance to the residencies and to fund my dream projects.
  • I keep creating as I wait for replies from funders and gatekeepers.
  • I contract with arts education organizations and receive either steady or sporadic opportunities to teach writing and/or dance.
  • I network and sometimes find myself with random but awesome opportunities like managing a research lab in a park for a city-wide public history project, writing a short documentary, or writing an essay for a local history blog.
  • I look for full-time jobs and go on interviews.
  • I work as an adjunct instructor, tutor K-12 students, or take odd jobs.
  • I spend considerably fewer hours a day than I would like reading (a good writer must first be a voracious reader)

Most of that labor I do either for free, or for payment amounts so small, I'm making well below minimum wage after I divide the payments by the number of hours it took to produce the work. I do it anyway because: 1) I love the work; 2) I love seeing Black women--the main group attending my fitness classes--enjoying fitness and feeling empowered while appreciating the way their bodies move; 3) kids deserve a good arts and humanities education, even when their school can't afford it; and 4) the work is too important NOT to be shared in a manner that's easily accessible to the largest numbers of people.

My work is teaching Black women to love bodies that the world has told them to hate.
My work is telling stories not just of overcoming oppression but of experiencing life.
My work is collaborating with other women artists of color to present counter-narratives to people of color's collective trauma and oppression.
My work is unearthing true stories of underserved communities that historically have faced erasure.
My work is personal, political, Black, Black feminist, and influenced by my lived experience as a Black, Christian woman born and raised in Kentucky.
My work is meant to change lives and change our society by making us rethink what we think we know about Black womanhood.


That's why I'm on Patreon. Patreon's system of monthly pledges allows people to support the production of art that's important to them. All my patrons receive exclusive access to my artistic process and early drafts, and they join a community committed to art that challenges white supremacist narratives, builds connection, and gives people of color more control over their own stories.

And I think you’re here because you know that type of art ignites social change, and you want to have a role in that change. Here’s how that role plays out: you pledge a monthly amount to my Patreon account. Each month, I transfer that money to living and project expenses. That means I spend less time on all the other stuff I currently do outside of making art and spend more time doing these dream projects: 
  • a book and event series about Black women, church, and sex; 
  • a program for Camden high school students that combines historical research, memoir writing, and podcasting. 
  • a self-published chapbook complicating biblical women
  • a self-published long essay about loving one’s body, bound as a short book
  • an Instagram channel for reading prose out loud and for explaining the African roots of my dance fitness routines. 
  • check every dream publication list off my vision board.
The work is published or otherwise presented and prompts self-reflection. From self-reflection to inspiration to activism to social change. (Okay, it’s not that simple, but you get it.)

And on top of all that, you get benefits. Check the sidebar.


Let’s make change happen together.
Tiers
Squad 1: Toni B, Carmen, Nella, & Brenda
$3 or more per month 3 patrons
Representing Toni Cade Bambara, Carmen de Lavallade, Nella Larsen, and Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Squad 1 receives access to exclusive subscriber content including:


  • insights into my process (updated weekly)
  • thoughts and words that don't make it to the final draft
  • what I'm writing to or about playlists (published bi-monthly)
  • best things I've read all month list (updated monthly)
  • sneak peeks at cover art, whenever I get that far


Squad 2: Gwendolyn, Harriet, Ida, & Lynn
$7 or more per month 3 patrons
Representing Gwendolyn Brooks, Harriet Jacobs, Ida B. Wells, and Lynn Nottage, Squad 2 receives all the above benefits, plus your choice of ONE of the following ANNUAL gifts:


  • a Zumba/dance fitness playlist, curated by me
  • a bibliography/works cited/suggested reading list related to ONE essay, blog post, poem, or chapbook of your choice that I've published in the past 3 years
  • a list of must-read essay how-to books and articles, curated by me
Squad 3: Lucille, Nikki, Zora, & bell
$15 or more per month 1 patron
Representing Lucille Clifton, Nikki Finney, Zora Neale Hurston, and bell hooks, Squad 3 receives the above benefits, plus your choice of ONE of the following ANNUAL gifts:


 

  • I'll write a book discussion guide for you or your book club. You can choose any book by a Black woman, published by a major or academic press.
  • Your name in the acknowledgements section of any self-published chapbook
Roxane, Misty, Chimamanda, Shonda, Bree
$50 or more per month 1 of 10 patrons
Representing Roxane Gay, Misty Copeland, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Shonda Rhimes, and Bree Newsome, Squad 4 receives the above benefits, plus your choice of ONE of the following ANNUAL gifts:


 

  • Your name in the acknowledgements section of my first book by a traditional publisher
  • ONE free copy of anything I've published in print in the past 365 days. I'll mail it to you.
  • I’ll teach a Zumba, Jam, or general Dance Fitness class for your party, retreat, or gym (anywhere within 120 miles of my current address, or virtually if outside the 120-mile radius)


Toni M, Angela, Judith, Audre, & Ntozake
$150 or more per month 0 of 3 patrons
Representing Toni Morrison, Angela Davis, Judith Jamison, Audre Lorde, and Ntozake Shange, Squad 5 is named for the legends this culture won't forget. This tier receives the above benefits, plus your choice of ONE of the following gifts, given to you TWICE a year:


  • Intellectual Escort. Let’s go to a cultural event and talk about it afterwards over cake or ice cream, even if you live long distance. This is the gift of my time and my mind, the conversations I usually only have with my closest intellectual friends who like to geek out on a wide array of things just like I do. Processing plays, movies, concerts, exhibits and the like is more fun when done in dialogue rather than monologue. If the cultural destination is greater than 120 miles from my address, we'll have to Skype or phone our conversation and talk about movies, television shows, plays, concerts, etc., we both are able to see in our respective locations. (I know you know that, because obviously you're brilliant, but I want to be clear.)


  • I'll be a guest facilitator at your book or writing club meeting (anywhere within 100 miles of my current address, or virtually if outside the 100-mile radius)
Goals
5 of 200 patrons
When I reach 200 patrons, I'll contract a badass visual artist who's also a Black woman or other woman of color to design the cover and a few illustrations for my first chapbook.
1 of 4
Mariam I. Williams
Writer | Dancer | Arts Educator | Public Historian


Hello, and welcome to my Patreon page!

Update 8/4/2018: Some people hate the monthly contribution idea but still want to give something. If that's you, cool. 
Hit me up on PayPal
Patreon Intro Video from Mariam Williams on Vimeo.

My name is Mariam I. Williams, and I write to find answers, dance to find joy, research the past to find understanding in the present, and teach to spread the knowledge and joy. Whether I tell the narrative through literary nonfiction, poetry, essays, traditional West African dance adapted for Zumba, a podcast, or a documentary, my work affirms Black Womanhood and all its complexity. 


My life as a writer/dancer/arts educator/public historian looks like this:
  • I spend 20 or more hours a week at my computer writing literary nonfiction, essays, and poems, and/or thinking, revising, and submitting what I wrote to various publications. 
  • I spend 5 hours a week teaching dance fitness classes.
  • Every four to six weeks, I spend 4-5 hours developing and practicing new choreography for my classes.
  • Every few months I come up with a brilliant idea for a museum education program or after school intensive that combines historical research, creative writing, and other forms of creative expression.
  • I research and apply for grants to fund those ideas. The heaviest deadlines are between March 1 and August 1 and Dec 1 and Jan 31.
  • I research and apply for residencies that increase my connections to writing communities.
  • I research and apply for grants to fund attendance to the residencies and to fund my dream projects.
  • I keep creating as I wait for replies from funders and gatekeepers.
  • I contract with arts education organizations and receive either steady or sporadic opportunities to teach writing and/or dance.
  • I network and sometimes find myself with random but awesome opportunities like managing a research lab in a park for a city-wide public history project, writing a short documentary, or writing an essay for a local history blog.
  • I look for full-time jobs and go on interviews.
  • I work as an adjunct instructor, tutor K-12 students, or take odd jobs.
  • I spend considerably fewer hours a day than I would like reading (a good writer must first be a voracious reader)

Most of that labor I do either for free, or for payment amounts so small, I'm making well below minimum wage after I divide the payments by the number of hours it took to produce the work. I do it anyway because: 1) I love the work; 2) I love seeing Black women--the main group attending my fitness classes--enjoying fitness and feeling empowered while appreciating the way their bodies move; 3) kids deserve a good arts and humanities education, even when their school can't afford it; and 4) the work is too important NOT to be shared in a manner that's easily accessible to the largest numbers of people.

My work is teaching Black women to love bodies that the world has told them to hate.
My work is telling stories not just of overcoming oppression but of experiencing life.
My work is collaborating with other women artists of color to present counter-narratives to people of color's collective trauma and oppression.
My work is unearthing true stories of underserved communities that historically have faced erasure.
My work is personal, political, Black, Black feminist, and influenced by my lived experience as a Black, Christian woman born and raised in Kentucky.
My work is meant to change lives and change our society by making us rethink what we think we know about Black womanhood.


That's why I'm on Patreon. Patreon's system of monthly pledges allows people to support the production of art that's important to them. All my patrons receive exclusive access to my artistic process and early drafts, and they join a community committed to art that challenges white supremacist narratives, builds connection, and gives people of color more control over their own stories.

And I think you’re here because you know that type of art ignites social change, and you want to have a role in that change. Here’s how that role plays out: you pledge a monthly amount to my Patreon account. Each month, I transfer that money to living and project expenses. That means I spend less time on all the other stuff I currently do outside of making art and spend more time doing these dream projects: 
  • a book and event series about Black women, church, and sex; 
  • a program for Camden high school students that combines historical research, memoir writing, and podcasting. 
  • a self-published chapbook complicating biblical women
  • a self-published long essay about loving one’s body, bound as a short book
  • an Instagram channel for reading prose out loud and for explaining the African roots of my dance fitness routines. 
  • check every dream publication list off my vision board.
The work is published or otherwise presented and prompts self-reflection. From self-reflection to inspiration to activism to social change. (Okay, it’s not that simple, but you get it.)

And on top of all that, you get benefits. Check the sidebar.


Let’s make change happen together.

Recent posts by Mariam I. Williams

Tiers
Squad 1: Toni B, Carmen, Nella, & Brenda
$3 or more per month 3 patrons
Representing Toni Cade Bambara, Carmen de Lavallade, Nella Larsen, and Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Squad 1 receives access to exclusive subscriber content including:


  • insights into my process (updated weekly)
  • thoughts and words that don't make it to the final draft
  • what I'm writing to or about playlists (published bi-monthly)
  • best things I've read all month list (updated monthly)
  • sneak peeks at cover art, whenever I get that far


Squad 2: Gwendolyn, Harriet, Ida, & Lynn
$7 or more per month 3 patrons
Representing Gwendolyn Brooks, Harriet Jacobs, Ida B. Wells, and Lynn Nottage, Squad 2 receives all the above benefits, plus your choice of ONE of the following ANNUAL gifts:


  • a Zumba/dance fitness playlist, curated by me
  • a bibliography/works cited/suggested reading list related to ONE essay, blog post, poem, or chapbook of your choice that I've published in the past 3 years
  • a list of must-read essay how-to books and articles, curated by me
Squad 3: Lucille, Nikki, Zora, & bell
$15 or more per month 1 patron
Representing Lucille Clifton, Nikki Finney, Zora Neale Hurston, and bell hooks, Squad 3 receives the above benefits, plus your choice of ONE of the following ANNUAL gifts:


 

  • I'll write a book discussion guide for you or your book club. You can choose any book by a Black woman, published by a major or academic press.
  • Your name in the acknowledgements section of any self-published chapbook
Roxane, Misty, Chimamanda, Shonda, Bree
$50 or more per month 1 of 10 patrons
Representing Roxane Gay, Misty Copeland, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Shonda Rhimes, and Bree Newsome, Squad 4 receives the above benefits, plus your choice of ONE of the following ANNUAL gifts:


 

  • Your name in the acknowledgements section of my first book by a traditional publisher
  • ONE free copy of anything I've published in print in the past 365 days. I'll mail it to you.
  • I’ll teach a Zumba, Jam, or general Dance Fitness class for your party, retreat, or gym (anywhere within 120 miles of my current address, or virtually if outside the 120-mile radius)


Toni M, Angela, Judith, Audre, & Ntozake
$150 or more per month 0 of 3 patrons
Representing Toni Morrison, Angela Davis, Judith Jamison, Audre Lorde, and Ntozake Shange, Squad 5 is named for the legends this culture won't forget. This tier receives the above benefits, plus your choice of ONE of the following gifts, given to you TWICE a year:


  • Intellectual Escort. Let’s go to a cultural event and talk about it afterwards over cake or ice cream, even if you live long distance. This is the gift of my time and my mind, the conversations I usually only have with my closest intellectual friends who like to geek out on a wide array of things just like I do. Processing plays, movies, concerts, exhibits and the like is more fun when done in dialogue rather than monologue. If the cultural destination is greater than 120 miles from my address, we'll have to Skype or phone our conversation and talk about movies, television shows, plays, concerts, etc., we both are able to see in our respective locations. (I know you know that, because obviously you're brilliant, but I want to be clear.)


  • I'll be a guest facilitator at your book or writing club meeting (anywhere within 100 miles of my current address, or virtually if outside the 100-mile radius)