2013 in review


We began 2013 without a permanent space, but with the concrete support of hundreds of neighbors and the pledge to reopen once again. Now, at the close of the year—after hosting/programming 100+ events and distributing 3,500+ books in the neighborhood—we are settled at our new space devoted to multilingual literacy, community, and artistic expression in Washington Heights. Please help us sustain what we’ve all started together, by making a year-end donation. You can donate two ways: 

1) Online via PayPal, by clicking on the button below. In order to qualify for a 2013 tax deduction, your online gift must be made by 11:59PM (EST) on December 31st.


2) By check. Please make checks payable to Seven Stories Institute and send to Word Up Community Bookshop, 2113 Amsterdam Avenue, New York NY 10032. As we are a program of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Seven Stories Institute, your donation will be tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. In order to qualify for a 2013 tax deduction, checks must be postmarked no later than December 31, 2013.


Last year at this time, Word Up volunteers would watch this video on repeat and get teary, because it was the most vivid reminder of the community bookshop and arts space we missed so much. Now we watch similar scenes unfold every day, live joyous soundtrack to boot. Since our grand opening, we’ve kept up a full calendar of weekly programs—like Open Mic, No Name, Story Time for KidsFace Out Literary Thursdays, Tutor Tuesdays, Craft Camp, and Let’s Read—in addition to an array of special events within and beyond the walls of our storefront: we co-organized the inaugural Uptown Lit: A Festival of Readers and Writers with a great group of neighbors and local organizations; and in November, Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Junot Díaz joined us for a discussion on writing and culture. Both of these latter events took place at the United Palace of Cultural Arts; between them, over 800 people attended. In addition, our longest-running program—Voices: Our Young People Speak, in which teens collaborate with working artists to develop their personal voice through writing and performance, co-facilitated by People’s Theatre Project—has expanded from one semester to two.

We hope we can count on your continuing support: as a bookshop staffed 100% by volunteers, we absolutely rely on contributions from you—our friends and allies—to ensure that we can keep our doors open. While we have been donating our labor since the start, we have significant expenses: rent, utilities, supplies, inventory. Please give today!



Word Up, a program of Seven Stories Institute, is a volunteer-run community bookshop and art space. Word Up is supported by the generosity of hundreds of community donors, as well as the funding for general operating support from the NoMAA Regrant Program, made possible by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation; the Medical Center Neighborhood Fund; and the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Ambulatory Care Network.



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