photos by Art by Dj boy
photos by Art by Dj boy
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Word Up/NoMAA Sign Lease &
Launch Community-Supported Bookshop (CSB) Program
January 24, 2012—The volunteer collective behind Word Up community bookshop, with support from the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA), has signed an agreement with landlord Vantage Residential. The store will remain at its current location at 4157 Broadway, where it has been housed since mid-June 2011, until the end of May 2012. Vantage Residential had been donating the storefront; the free month-to-month deal ended at the end of November 2011.
The Word Up staff’s commitment to renting on a longer-term basis stemmed from community members’ requests that the shop stay for as long as possible, to be a place where the neighborhood could celebrate and advocate for literacy and the arts. In addition to distributing books, the bookshop has hosted 200+ events during its 7 months: readings, film screenings, music concerts, theater productions, art shows, and educational workshops.
Word Up’s longer stay was also spurred by the educational opportunities that collective members have been eager to facilitate for the community:
Word Up has strived to show that an open, community-focused space can exist and be sustained by resources found within one’s own neighborhood.
To help pay rent, Word Up is organizing as a community-supported bookshop (CSB). Inspired by and modeled after community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, which provide upfront money to local farmers whose cash flow is affected by seasonal shifts in buying, weather, and the ill effects of agribusiness, the Word Up CSB offers bookshop shares for $20, and members in turn receive 6 wooden coins—exchangeable for books—and a hand-silkscreened Word Up tote bag. Word Up CSB funds are administered through the nonprofit Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union based in Washington Heights. For more information about the Word Up CSB, please see wordupbooks.wordpress.com/csb.
Word Up is sponsored by Vantage Residential and Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, in association with Seven Stories Institute.
Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA) is a nonprofit arts service organization with the mission to cultivate, support and promote the works of artists and arts organizations in Northern Manhattan. NoMAA’s primary objective is to facilitate the creation of new artistic work by diverse, emerging, and established artists; strengthen the infrastructures of local arts organizations including their administrative and artistic growth, financial development and long-term sustainability; encourage public dialogue, engagement, and collective reflection around issues affecting Manhattan’s uptown artistic and cultural community; and foster the overall economic development of the Northern Manhattan community.
Seven Stories Institute (SSI) is a nonprofit organization founded as a response to the realization that many good books posing alternatives to current governmental policies and attitudes never reach those most adversely affected by those policies. Through author forums, community performances, collaborations with local media, and distribution of books at deeply subsidized prices, SSI seeks ultimately to promote literacy and the active exchange of ideas, imagination, and the written word.
Reviewers and press inquiries, please contact:
We’re happy to introduce a new series of talks and workshops that will be inaugurated at Word Up on Wednesday, January 25. Tomorrow’s workshop—hosted by Carolina Pichardo, co-founder of YUM—will include how to get your career/life on track with tips and advice from community leaders and experts. www.youngurbanmoms.com
Poet Danny Shot: The founding editor in chief of influential literary journal, Long Shot, Danny has read his poetry on many stages and published in such journals as Big Bridge and Evergreen Review and the anthology, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry.
America’s Sunday Supper
Celebrate MLK Day and share community ideas at America’s Sunday Supper. We’ll watch a documentary film, share a potluck meal (bring a dish!), discuss issues that affect our community and discover the power each one us has to make a difference.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, celebrated January 16, marks the beginning of the service year as millions of Americans honor the memory of Dr. King by contributing their time, talent, voice, and money to improve their communities. Inspired by the legacy of Dr. King, America’s Sunday Supper invites people from diverse backgrounds to come together to share a meal, discuss issues that affect their community and highlight the power each one of us has to make a difference.
This is a free event; please just bring a dish to share with your friends and neighbors during the potluck lunch or a book donation for Word Up. We’ll view the documentary film Whatever It Takes, which chronicles the successes and failures of the innovative Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics to spark a discussion about issues that our community faces and how we can take action on those issues. More about the film: http://www.itvs.org/films/whatever-it-takes. More about America’s Sunday Supper: http://www.handsonnetwork.org/events/mlk.