Monthly Archives: January 2012

Dimay productions fundraiser photos

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

photos by Art by Dj boy

NHK At Word Up Books

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Dia de Lectura Familiar 2012

Dear Neighbors: THANK YOU!


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:

  • The first after-school program to take place at Word Up—a bilingual writing and theater program for local teens, developed by the Washington Heights-based People’s Theatre Project and Seven Stories Institute—began on January 18.
  • On January 25, Word Up is hosting the launch of PowerUp, a series coordinated by YUM cofounder Carolina Pichardo, with workshops on career building and resume writing.
  • On January 27, Word Up is co-sponsoring Family Literacy Day 2012 at the local Gregorio Luperon High School, organized by Acción Comunitaria La Aurora and featuring a reading by Junot Díaz.
  • Regular programming for children has increased through a Story Time for Kids event on Saturday mornings, and a Skraptacular-facilitated arts and crafts workshop for preteens on Tuesdays after school.
  • In early January, Word Up began building The Education Station, a reference area with up-to-date Spanish and English dictionaries and grammar volumes; SAT, GED, and citizenship prep books; and select teaching materials.

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. 

Keeping It in the Neighborhood: Word Up’s CSB Program

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

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:

PowerUp: a new series at Word Up

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.

This weekend at Word Up: Emergency Room Wrestling & America’s Sunday Supper

Readings by Nancy Mercado, Danny Shot, and The Dirty Poet
The Dirty Poet’s Emergency Room Wrestling was just named one of the TOP THREE BOOKS OF 2011 by both author Ben Tanzer and editor Mark Spitzer.

Poet Nancy Mercado
: Featured in The Encyclopedia of Hispanic American Literature (Facts on File) and inducted into The Museum of American Poetics, Nancy is also profiled in Latino Leaders Magazine as “one of the most celebrated members of the Puerto Rican literary movement in the Big Apple”. She is the author of It Concerns the Madness (Long Shot Productions) and editor of, if the world were mine; a children’s anthology published by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). She was also an editor of Long Shot (1993 – 2004) and the publication’s editor-in-chief for one of those years.The Dirty Poet: The Dirty Poet has worked in a trauma unit for some decades, and the narrative poems of EMERGENCY ROOM WRESTLING, full of bite and gallows humor, read like vaudeville monologues from a combat zone.

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: More about America’s Sunday Supper: