Great River Regional Library to Host a Community Winter Party with Paints and Poems on December 21, 2022.


Tracy Rittmueller

Cultural Producer Tracy Rittmueller and Great River Regional Library in St. Cloud are collaborating to host an intercultural, intergenerational, sensory-friendly community-wide celebration of Winter on Wednesday late afternoon and early evening, December 21th, 2022.

What: “Winter Party with Paints and Poems” : Featuring Central MN Arts Board Trained Teaching Artists, Tracy Rittmueller, Kelly Meyer, and Antionette Lee.

When: Wednesday, December 21— 4-7:30 pm

Where: Mississippi Room, Great River Regional Library, St. Cloud—Large/Festive Party Bremer Room and Array Room—Sensory-Friendly Spaces

Who: Free and open to adults and families with children ages 8+ Registration is required to reserve free painting spaces valued at $40-$60 each.

This event offers an opportunity for Central Minnesotans from a wide variety of cultures, backgrounds, religious/political affiliations, and neuro-variances to come together to celebrate the one thing we all share in common—Minnesota Winter! Participants will receive paints, canvases and instruction from artists to create a work of art while listening to a multi-cultural selection of poems and songs, accompanied by drumming. No experience is needed to paint or to participate in making a collaborative communal poem to commemorate this occasion, when more than 100 greater St. Cloud residents will appreciate their differences and celebrate their connections.

Local Poet/Writer and Cultural Producer Tracy Rittmueller envisioned and planned this event with Great River Regional Library Patron Services Coordinators Neil Vig and Chris Mallow, and Circulation and Distribution Coordinator Rosanna Backen. Kelly Meyer and Antionette Lee will provide painting guidance while Poetry Ambassadors and Cultural Consultants Hedy Tripp, Anisa HagiMohamed, Keshia King, Abdi Mahad, Hudda Ibrahim, Sylvia Calderon and Omar Bhirwani will help all people feel welcome, comfortable, and appreciated.

Teaching Artist, Kelly Meyers says, “Communication and connection exist beyond language, in shared ideas and experiences. Using our hands and the sense of touch to create art together is an excellent way to communicate, connect, and create lasting memories.”

Tracy Rittmueller says, “Writing, speaking, and hearing poetry in a collaborative, communal setting helps us create meaning, foster connection, and open our hearts to the self-compassion we need for our own resilience, as well as the empathy we need to live fearlessly and neighborly with one another.”

Sensory friendly spaces will offer hospitality to people who experience overwhelm, whether from neurodiversity, high-sensitivity, anxiety, or any other reason.

No registration is needed to participate in the open mic. Listen to local talent and share your favorite seasonal or dark or light poems and songs, whether they’re your own creation or someone else’s. Buddy King will drum along with performers and readers on request, and Jim Read will type a spontaneous poem for you, with his vintage Royal manual typewriter, on a theme or subject you choose.

The Yes Network will provide kids’ snacks and drinks, and Lyricality will provide Tea for adults.

Space is limited for painting and those will fill up quickly—so register right away through the Saint Cloud branch of Great River Regional Library. Join the party that will help nurture the growth of a thriving arts and literary scene in central Minnesota, and feel more connected to your community.

In January, the collaborative communal poem created at the event will be displayed in the library.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Central MN Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

How to register: sign up online at or call the library at 320.650.2500

Questions? Support Requests? text event producer Tracy Rittmueller, 401.479.1429

About Tracy Rittmueller, Poet/Writer, Teaching Artist & Cultural Producer Tracy Rittmueller collaborates with diverse artists and organizations to host workshops and celebrations that foster connection and belonging.