Drawing for Action and Flag of US


Let’s transform our American flag into a Flag of US. Join us for a participatory drawing and improvisational music event of sharing in which we break down imaginary boundaries that divide us while we create together playfully. Everyone is welcome! The performance is created in real time by the participants: those feeling marginalized and those in solidarity with the marginalized. We will meet around a large table that has been painted to represent the American flag. After eating and mingling on this flag/table, we will draw each other’s faces—and faces on top of faces—to the stop-and-go rhythm of the emerging music we create together. Flag of US is based on the game of Musical Chairs—but in this activity, no one is ever left out.

Join us also for Drawing for Action. Dream up your solutions to issues of concern while exploring your own voice in a supportive space of community, exploration and healing.

The events will take place at THE BLOCK Off Biltmore, Downtown Asheville, 39 S. Market Street (corner of Eagle and Market) on Sunday, July 2nd as part of our national day weekend celebration.

  • Drawing for Action: 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. vegan brunch food and beverages will be available for purchase. Supplies will be provided.
$29 per person. Drawing for Action is CLOSED.
  • Flag of US: 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Alcoholic beverages, refreshments and vegan food will be available for purchase at a modest price. Participants are invited to bring musical instruments to share. Drawing supplies will be provided. The completed Flag of US will be on display at THE BLOCK OFF Biltmore.

sliding scale cover charge $1-$10 pay at door or reserve now

No experience with drawing or playing an instrument is required in order to participate in either of these two activities. We will do this together. We will help each other out. We are going to have fun! Three languages that we all understand—food, drawing, and music—will guide us through the process and bring us together. Come spend our national holiday in community and creativity. Families, friends and those who want to make new friends are invited. All are invited and welcome!

Watch our recent Flag of US emerging in this 37 sec. video

Watch an earlier version of this activity at Our Voices, Our Stories in 2012

Drawing for Action samples of works and more information



The Impromptu Drawing is the inspiration of Asheville-based artist Martha Skinner, who says:

The idea for these two activities and events came to me as a way to counter the hateful rhetoric going on in our nation today. The marginalization of people is of course not a new phenomenon, yet now more than ever we need to offset all that’s harming us with positivity, creativity and transformation. The Flag of US project is not new, either. It has been in development and practiced since my early years teaching art and architecture, more than two decades ago. It has served as an icebreaker with my students; on the first day of class, it helps everyone to feel comfortable with each other, and to lose any inhibitions about drawing. In this activity, everyone draws together, on top of each other’s drawings. As a collective drawing begins to emerge, there is no sense of ownership of the drawing, and therefore no judgments of “right” or “wrong,” as the drawing is everyone’s. The same open, creative process goes for the music and for the individual morning of Drawing for Action. The intent behind these events is to share and to break down walls. We just recently completed our first Flag of US (originally called Impromptu Drawing of US: We *Are Almost All Immigrants) in March at the art studio of Connie Bostic. The Drawing for Action project emerged over hearing teenagers express their feelings about our current political situation just shortly after Election Day. Our first session, for young adults, happened shortly after that. Since others expressed the need to be a part of this, now it’s open to every age group with the idea that families will join in together.

musical table

Martha Skinner is an American citizen who was born in Colombia S.A. Her parents immigrated to the U.S. when Martha was just 13—a challenging time for such a transition started in high school in Miami, where racial and cultural divisions led to tensions were among Cubans, African Americans, Caucasians, and recent immigrants, mostly from Central America. For many years she lived in many places and understands that the beauty of life comes from the array of cultures and experiences that we share. Martha is an artist, designer, educator, and mother. Her work, which stems from her involvement in all these fields, takes the form of participatory installations and products that investigate and attempt to restore balance to some of the environmental and humanitarian issues of our society.

THE BLOCK off Biltmore is our local space in downtown Asheville for “Building community and inclusive friendship between diverse movements, where social justice issues are discussed, actions formulated, and deep, healing happens”.