commonwealth word wall

Be a part of something BIG, and leave your mark on the Mathews Word Wall!

October 10th-17th

Located in the Adult Computer Atrium

View photos of the progress of the Commonwealth Word Wall on this slideshow.

The library is pleased to announce an exciting and innovative event to occur during the period of October 10-17. “Commonwealth Word Walls” are literary art installations created collaboratively by members of a community and represent a community’s sense of self in a given moment in time. The wall is to be a publicly displayed mural on which library patrons and others engage with the written word and each other. By expressing themselves through creative writing or drawing they will gain insight into the values and concerns of others.


Each World Wall begins as a blank paper mural equipped with pens, markers and colored pencils. Over the course of the week, writing prompts will be affixed to the mural, guiding writers’ contributions. For example, the Bill of Rights may be posted with writers asked to contribute additional personal rights they value or want protected.

At the end of the project, the Mathews Word Wall will be preserved digitally on the Commonwealth Word website. In addition, the mural will be sent to a partnering library for display, while at the same time, a similar Word Wall from another location will be shared with the Mathews library. Thus, communities are given an opportunity to share their social and cultural cares in a method of communication that is becoming more and more antiquated.

The idea and design of Commonwealth Word Walls emerged from lessons and workshops created by teaching artist, Jason Leahey who designs and implements creative writing projects that promote literacy. Raised in Richmond and rural Tidewater, Virginia, he previously brought a creative project designed for teens to the Mathews Memorial Library

Additional information may be obtained by contacting the library at 804.725.5747.