With Indianapolis Public Schools restructuring on the horizon for the 2015-16 academic year, the Butler Writers and Exclusive Ink banded together for a final hurrah, at least for the partnership in its original iteration.
Starting next fall, Shortridge Magnet School for Law and Public Policy will become Shortridge IB Butler Lab School, which will bring a new team of students and administrators to the historic building on 34th and Meridian. Although the Writing in the Schools program plans to maintain a relationship with Shortridge IB, the Exclusive Ink after-school creative writing group, forged by Butler’s Writing in the Schools program four years ago, assembled for one last magazine release party extravaganza on Tuesday, April 21. With many of our Exclusive Ink students graduating or moving on to different schools within IPS, it proved to be a bittersweet afternoon of heartfelt goodbyes and well-wishing for the future, as the following photo gallery attests.
Per tradition, the magazine release party started with Butler mentors dishing up the food they brought for the pitch-in. Huge props to everyone for feeding more than 50 hungry writers who came to say hello to our lovely new journal and goodbye to Exclusive Ink.
We’re going to miss Room 238. Who would have guessed that the science lab would be perfect for our needs? It was always great to see the space filled to capacity for our semester-capping events.
Our Butler mentors demonstrated unsurpassed versatility all semester, whether inspiring students to write or braiding hair.
The fourth edition of the Exclusive Ink print journal was our finest to date, boasting 63 pages of poems and prose from 35 unique Shortridge writers, not to mention an 80s-styled teal and pink aesthetic that demanded the attention of eyes and pens alike.
Legendary WITS mentor Luke Wortley rejoined us for the first time all semester to resume Open Mic hosting duties. Luke was a part of the WITS program for the past two years, both as a student in EN 455 and a graduate assistant, before stepping aside this winter to take a teaching job at Providence Cristo Rey High School. He was greeted with hugs and hand claps. Much gratitude to Luke for his unrelenting commitment to the students of Exclusive Ink.
There was perhaps no more fitting way to conclude our last meeting of Exclusive Ink than with a reading from Paula. Paula joined our group four years ago as a freshman, and quickly became the heartbeat of Exclusive Ink. Though we’ll miss everyone dearly, we’re confident we haven’t heard the last from Paula, who will be studying Creative Writing at IUPUI next fall. Her poems always seem to find us when we need a reminder of just how powerful words can be when they bring people together.
Speaking for all the Butler Writers, past and present, I can sincerely say we loved our time at Shortridge Magnet School for Law and Public Policy. We are so incredibly thankful to the faculty, staff, and students for their support, and we look forward to new opportunities at Shortridge IB Butler Lab School.