My upcoming artist support group & workshop series!

Blog version:

By Any Means Necessary: Support for the Challenged Artist

A workshop and peer support group series with Cassendre Xavier

Dates and Time:

The following Saturdays, from 1:00pm-4:00pm:

May 25
June 1
June 15
June 29

(Registration Deadline: May 19)


Leeway Foundation

The Philadelphia Building

1315 Walnut Street, Suite 832

(8th floor, elevators/wheelchair accessible)

Philadelphia, PA 19107

Are you an artist or creative person struggling with some real life issues that present a major challenge to your creative output? Life happens, and creative people need extra support to get beyond those challenges and still create, by any means necessary.

Don’t let a midlife crisis, economic hardship, physical/mental health issues, or difficult relationships stop you from being the fully self-expressed creative you were born to be and were years ago. You can create again, and you can become an artist, in ways that work for you and your own particular audience!

In this gentle, inclusive and interactive workshop-meets support group and vision team, you can learn skills and build your own “tools” to get over significant hurdles to creativity. Accountability and peer support as well as making deadlines for everything are some of the tools to higher creativity.

About the presenter:

Cassendre Xavier is a “multi-media healing artist” known for her award-wining work as a performing and recording singer-songwriter-guitarist, spoken word artist, poet, and community cultural arts organizer. She has released albums, written-produced-acted-and directed a cast of 5 in a play, and is currently working with Black Women’s Arts Festival 2018 & 2019 Producer Amor La Luna on the 13th Annual BWAF in Philadelphia (Sept 21-22, 2019 at The Rotunda) as well as working on producing a BWAF in Denver Colorado in 2020. Cassendre’s main work on a day to day basis, however, involves dealing with the symptoms of bipolar and posttraumatic stress disorders, which were diagnosed in 1993, she was in her early 20s. Now at 50, Cassendre attends 14 medical appointments per month for various health issues and struggles to find time to be the artist she once was. Cassendre has also faced significant financial challenges over the years, has been both shelter and street homeless, and continued to create, perform, and produce events during those struggles. During those times, she met other people who have done the same. Financial hardships do not have to stop creativity!

Cassendre says: “I’ve been dealing with an artist crisis for years. I stopped gigging, and I rarely even pick up my guitar and sing. As a typical bipolar, I have millions of ideas, but it’s really hard for me to get settled and actually write an entire cohesive work, or book, as has been my longtime dream. I know as a healing artist, that the best way for me to solve problems is to do so within a structure of a group teaching setting. I look forward to being more productive as an artist, now that I have a place to share what I have learned in the process. Having a place for accountability is one of the greatest helps to an artist, and I am so grateful to be able to create that for others as well as for myself.”

Cassendre’s previous arts-related workshops/classes/self-help groups (in Philadelphia) include:

1)…AIM: Artists in Motion: a peer support, networking, and accountability group for artists. (1996; Homes and cafes.)

2)…Creating & Supporting the Active Artist (a 12- week series) (2002; Wise Women’s Center/W.I.S.E. The Women’s Initiative for Self-Empowerment, West Philadelphia)

3)…How to Record & Release Your Own CD (a 12-week series) (2005; PASCEP-The Pan-African Studies Community Education Program)

4)…Active Artist 101 (a talk) (2006; Mount Airy Learning Tree)

Cassendre is also known for her inspiring quotes and writings on social media as well as her monthly articles at

Cost: Courtesy of the Leeway Foundation, which funds women and trans artists creating art for social change, this series is free of charge to attend. However, the presenter requests upon completion of the series, that attendees fill out a questionnaire to assist in improving future workshops. (The completion of this questionnaire is appreciated, but optional.)


Open to women, trans, and respectful male participants.

Be over the age of 21.

Participants must have been productive artists for at least 5 years (been published, exhibited visual art/work, screened original films, acted in publicly seen roles, performed music publicly, created saleable product of some sort, etc.).

Be willing to work with a group; give and listen to suggestions from group members and presenter.

Commit to attending all sessions.

Registration (Deadline May 19):

Space is limited, and all attendees must be pre-approved.

If qualifications above are met, please post a comment or email the presenter at cxwriting @ gmail dot com (email address is split up to prevent spam).

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In The Kitchen in Denver!

I’m at The Kitchen, 1560 Wazee St (on the corner of 16th and Wazee), in Denver, CO with BWAF Denver supporter and black woman artist Latasha Dunston of Jitterbug Art Studio. We’re here until 8pm and hoping to meet other organizers! 😊🌟☑️♥️

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

BWAF Denver 2020 Organizer Meetings 4/15 & 4/16

Blog version:

The Black Women’s Arts Festival is an annual showcase of multi-media creative and healing arts, performances, workshops, vendors, and more by black women, created with our supporters, and presented to the public at large. All respectful persons are welcome.
BWAF Philly 2019 – The 13th Annual Black Women’s Arts Festival is Sat-Sun September 21-22, 2019 at
Producer Amor La Luna

Plans are under way for BWAF Denver 2020: Colorado’s 1st Annual Black Women’s Arts Festival.

We are seeking a producer for BWAF Denver. There is a small stipend available and the time commitment would be commensurate with the size and kind of venue selected. For information, please stop by one of our in-person meetings or email the director. Info below:

Monday, April 15, 2019
Hours by appointment, between 12:00Noon and 7:00pm.
At a hotel in Northglenn, CO.
(Meeting is in a public seating area. RSVP required – to receive hotel address, email BWAF founder/director Cassendre Xavier
at BWAFphilly at )

Tuesday, April 16, 2019
1560 Wazee St. (on the corner of 16th and Wazee)
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 623-3127
Meet BWAF founder/director Cassendre Xavier and Denver-based black woman artist Latasha Dunston of Jitterbug art studio
at the bar.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2019 Performance & Workshop Dates Added

* Sun April 14 – Presenting workshop (Coming Out: A Spiritual Practice & Social Action) at the 6th Annual Rocky Mountain Poly Living Conference, Denver CO
* Sat June 8 – Singing, playing guitar & selling CDs at , in PA
* Sat-Sun Sept 21-22 – Singing/guitar, reading poems, selling CDs, chapbooks & buttons at the 13th Annual Black Women’s Arts Festival, at The Rotunda, Philadelphia PA
* Sat Dec 21 – Singing/guitar/CDs co-bill with at The Living Room at 35 E, Ardmore PA

Please contact the venues for more information~

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bearded Lady – Bipolar & Binge Eating & Shame & Progress

(New YouTube video!)
Visit Or: and click “Videos”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Calendar update!

Fri-Sun April 12-14, 2019 – Presenting workshop “Coming Out: A Spiritual Practice and Social Action” at the Rocky Mountain Poly Living Conference in Denver, Colorado.


Sat June 8, 2019 10:30am-12:30pm. Singing at the Lansdowne Farmers Market


Sat-Sun September 21-22, 2019 Reading my poetry and singing at the 13th Annual Black Women’s Arts Festival, The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St, Philadelphia PA 19104


Sat December 21, 2019 – 8pm Co-bill with singer-songwriter Rupert Wates, The Living Room at 35 E, Ardmore PA.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What can we do to stop child abuse?

What do you think the 3 biggest causes of child abuse are? (Poverty? Addiction? Mental illness? The failure of social service workers/system?) And what can the average persun do to help stop it? I feel called to make this issue part of my life’s work, and your feedback would help!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment