Monthly Archives: March 2014

April Spoken Word Workshop & Open Mic for Teens

TeenOpenMic_130409April Spoken Word Workshop & Open Mic for Teens
Wednesday, April 9, 2014

4:30–6 PM
Word Up Community Bookshop
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.

Word@4F is back to host a spoken word workshop and open mic for high school students! For this month’s session, Danny Matos will co-facilitate.

In an interactive spoken word and writing workshop, teens will learn about and discuss spoken word as an art form, and will participate in writing exercises aimed at improving and promoting creativity and verbal self-expression. After the workshop, teens will have the opportunity (but are not required) to perform their pieces (new and old) in front of their peers and Word Up’s general audience. Although attendance at the workshop is encouraged, it is not required for participation at the open mic.


New book club pick: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

BOOK_CLUB_APRIL_2014 R1-01Novels with a Social Conscience: A Book Club @ Word Up

Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao will be the subject of the next book club discussion, on Sunday, April 6th, 3-5 PM. Copies are available now at Word Up.

This book club will meet each month to examine and discuss novels that use compelling stories and characters to raise important social issues, including those related to gender, race and ethnicity, and class. Attendees are encouraged to actively participate in all our discussions. More questions? Feel free to contact Bob Lamm at Read more about Bob here.

Your weekend at Word Up

The Small Idea Family Night. Photo: Adrienne Cichelli

The Small Idea Family Night. Photo: Adrienne Cichelli

As we complete our first eight months at our new location, we’re continually in awe of all the things that take place within the walls of 2113 Amsterdam Avenue. There is nothing like coming from the after-school program we co-facilitate down the street, walking into the store to scores of neighborhood kids and parents singing together during a Family Night organized by The Small Idea, then transitioning the space as efficiently as possible—i.e. cleaning up all the ankle-high popcorn—just in time for Al Jazeera to come to film the next event, the Uptown Freegan Meetup. Yup, just another Wednesday night at Word Up! And a happy eight months it’s been.

With that, we heartily encourage you to come by this weekend for one of these great events: Friday’s usual open mic (7–9pm), Gagá pa’l pueblo in a new Saturday night timeslot (6–9pm), the Joy of Improv workshop with Bob Lamm (Sunday, 3–5pm), and a conversation between this month’s featured gallery artist Yael Ben-Zion and author Lise Funderburg, moderated by Gabriel de Guzman, with refreshments (Sunday, 5:30–7pm). See you soon!

GagaPalPueblo_140329Saturday, March 29 | 6–9pm
Gagá Pa’l Pueblo
Usually taking place every Sunday in the summertime at Anne Loftus Playground at Fort Tryon Park, Gagá pa’l pueblo is a gathering of folks preserving, enhancing, and practicing Afro-Dominican traditional music. Now that it’s a little chillier outdoors, we’re bringing the celebration indoors once a month. And for the first time at Word Up, it’ll be on a Saturday night! Come for the music, stay for the dancing . . .

Sunday, March 30 | 3–5pm
The Joy of Improv with Bob Lamm
Enjoy creating improvisational comedy in a relaxed, supportive atmosphere. No performing experience is necessary—just a willingness to play, experiment, and laugh with others. Instructor Bob Lamm is a writer and teacher who runs the Novels With a Social Conscience Book Club at Word Up. He has taught improv classes at NYU and the CUNY Graduate Center, and has run workshops at Vassar, Sarah Lawrence, the Hebrew Tabernacle, Covenant House, and many high schools.

Sunday, March 30
 | 5:30–7pm
Intermarried Artist Talk: Yael Ben-Zion & Lise Funderburg in discussion, moderated by Gabriel de Guzman
Yael Ben-Zion‘s photography exhibition Intermarried—presenting self-identified “mixed” couples in their everyday environments—is currently on view in the gallery space at Word Up. On Sunday, March 30th, she will be joined by Lise Funderburg, author of Black, White, Other: Biracial Americans Talk about Race and identity, and Gabriel de Guzman, the curator of visual arts at Wave Hill and the curator of this exhibition.

Wednesday: Family Night & Uptown Freegans

UptownFreegansWednesdays are normally our calmest days at the bookshop, but tonight we have not just one but two activities: small idea Family Night, hosted by volunteers Melissa and Kevin Guzman, and the monthly Uptown Freegans Meetup, hosted by volunteer Gio Andollo. See below for more details, and see you tonight at the bookshop!

Wednesday, March 26 | 5:30–7:30pm
small idea Family Night
Come out to Family Night at Word Up for music and fun! We will have bookmaking tables, puppets, games, storytelling, and live music. Discover Word Up, our lovely volunteers, and the friendly space. Find out how to keep this wonderful store vibrant and open to our community for many years to come.

Wednesday, March 26 | 8:30–9pm
Uptown Freegans Meetup
Word Up volunteer and Uptown Freegans founder Gio Andollo will lead a food rescue mission around the neighborhood. See for more information.

Next Saturday: Projections: The Faces Behind the Dolls / Los Rostros Detrás de las Muñecas

PROJECTIONS_MARCH_DOLLS-01Our next Projections screening is of the documentary The Faces Behind the Dolls / Los Rostros Detrás de las Muñecasdirected by Freddy Vargas and produced and researched by Mary Ely Peña-Gratereaux—about the Dominican immigrant women who labored at the Madame Alexander Doll company in New York City. Their stories demonstrate how the world economic system shaped and transformed the lives of immigrants as they integrated themselves into the US labor market, and ultimately how globalization and its discontents drowned many of these workers’ dreams as production shipped to China when the company closed its doors. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.

Saturday, March 22, 2014
6:30 PM
Word Up Community Bookshop / Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Avenue @ 165th St.
Admission: $5 (reduced to $3 if you sign up as a Continuing CSB Member—learn more about the CSB member program here)