The Revolution Begins Within

9 3Arts supporters
$865 raised of $6,000 goal
21 Days 00:44:09 LEFT
This project will only be funded if $6,000 is contributed to 3Arts by May 03, 2024, 11:59PM
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To accompany my new memoir coming out this spring, I’m developing The Revolution Begins Within, a 7-track visual EP aimed to build a creative and accessible companion piece to the writing. As a multidisciplinary artist, I want to harness the power of music, spoken word, and short film to encourage conversations around navigating survivorhood and holding onto love and bravery in the face of obstacles. This EP will be a work unto itself, as well as a unique complement to engage more audiences with the memoir.


About This Project

In April 2024, I’m celebrating the release of my debut memoir, Working on Me, a book made in the tradition of the biomythography genre that chronicles my life growing up in a Black Russian Jewish interracial family on the far South Side of Chicago. In writing the book, I was drawn to the idea of bringing these pieces to life—beyond the page—through film, music, spoken word, and visuals. The touchstone for this inspiration was the piece “Brick,” which describes what happens to a material like that when it is hammered, chiselled, and ground down—a metaphor for my own experience with trauma.

While I’ve produced an album and EP before, this will be the first time creating visuals and collaborating with film, but I feel these are the perfect forms to expand my work into new territory. In order to execute this as its highest level, I’ve pulled in two major collaborators. My audio collaborator is David Marsalek, a drummer and producer, and one half of acclaimed Chicago music group, SPIZM. My visual and film collaborator is Nicole Waddington, a documentarian and owner of GRAPHIXSPOT, which specializes in design, photography, and videography.

My plan is to produce seven visual tracks for The Revolution Begins Within, but release one at a time, beginning in March 2024 and culminating with the release of the two final tracks in October 2024. Each short film will be released on social media, as well as on all music streaming platforms. The goal is for the films to be experienced as companions to Working on Me. Some of the pieces on the EP are featured in written form in Working on Me and some are referenced in the book. All reflect the themes and experiences of what it means to work on oneself to heal and reckon with patterns and systems of harm and violence that work on all of us.

With support from this campaign, I’ll be able to fully realize this vision. The only way I’ve ever been able to heal is to chase out the darkness with the light of the truth and the pleasure of my own forms of expression. The Revolution Begins Within invites all who experience it to step into chasing the light with me, to celebrate that which tried to take me out but somehow only made me braver.

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $10
    "The Revolution Begins Within" affirmation mirror ($7.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $20
    "I Got You" gift card set ($15.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    Autographed hard copy of "Working on Me" debut memoir (Vine Leaves Press, 2024) ($30.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100
    Commissioned poem by Nikki Patin ($50.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $250
    "Surviving the Mic" T-shirt, plus an affirmation mirror, gift card set, and autographed book ($162.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500
    One hour, private, one-on-one "Brave AF" writing workshop (for you, or as a gift to someone you choose), plus an affirmation mirror, gift card set, and autographed book ($250.00 is tax deductible.)




Nikki Patin

Make a Wave Artist

Featured in The Guardian, Chicago Tribune, HBO's Def Poetry Jam, and on international television and radio, Peabody Award-winning poet Nikki Patin has been writing, performing, and educating for almost 15 years. She has taught hundreds of workshops …

View Nikki Patin's profile
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    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

    • Quinn Houlihan

    • Amanda Glasbrenner

    • Barak ade Soleil

    • Diana Clegg

    • Denise Haritos

    • Marya Spont-Lemus

    • Alice Walton

    • Anthony Dekker

    • Joanne Vena

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3AP Presenting Partner:

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 Additional support provided by: 

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