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).

About cassendre

aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls “renaissance negresse & ARTrepreneur” (musician/writer/actress/fine artist) Leeway Transformation Award-Winning founder & executive director of the Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002). Visit:
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