Monthly Archives: June 2016

July 1 – Wash Heights Music Fest Open Mic

Calling all writers, rappers, musicians, orators, dancers, and artists of all kinds for this summertime cypher! Join us for the monthly Word Up Open Mic—first Fridays of the month—hosted by Jason Rosario, as all ages and persuasions gather to share, learn, and experience together.
Wash Heights Music Fest Open Mic
Friiday, July 1, 2016
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
113 Amsterdam Ave. (at 165 St.)
New York, NY



We are looking forward to seeing everyone on Saturday during our 5th birthday party!

11am–1pm: Story Time Family Breakfast—with saxophone!
2–6pm: Sidewalk Party with Readings/Spoken Word/Music/Art
6pm: The inDUCTion ceremony: We’ll officially celebrate the completion of the painting that Word Up’s resident painter Reynaldo García Pantaléon has been working on since the fall of 2013, incorporating the stories of Word Up and the neighborhood into a beautiful overhead ceiling duct.
7pm: Party! For a $10 cover charge, dine on food from more than a dozen local restaurants and dance into the night.

Readings/Spoken Word
Sandy Jimenez, Mariel Escalante, Kate Hogan, Skye Cabrera, Nancy La Lanne, Akiva Penalosa, Darlene Valenzuela, Yoseli Castillo Fuertes, Janis Astor del Valle, Becky Fullan, Rick Van Valkenburg, Regina Woiler, Markus Scott, Natalia Mercedes, Cristina (Topaz) Rodriguez, & Mia Estrella
DJ Delaceiba, Charlie Cruz, Gaga P’al Pueblo, Jason Rosario, Lethy Liriano, Lexiglass, MC Maniphes, Ruben Gonzalez, Tellie Floydd, Blair Jensen, & Emmanuel “DjBoy” Abreu
Washington Heights Arts and Comics, Young Artists Zine Alliance, Marthalicia Mattarita, Feegz (Carlos Martínez Dominguez), Reynaldo García Pantaleón
Food for the party generously donated by Pick and Eat, Toast Uptown, Chipotle, Coogan’s, Mario’s Hamburger and Pizza, Famiglia Pizza, La Parrilla, El Bacan, Galicia Restaurant, Boston Market, Heights Tavern, Patagonia Wines and Spirits, and Dyckman Beer Co.

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Huffington Post Feature – Up on Sugar Hill: Word Up Celebrates Five Years As ‘More Than A Bookstore’

Thanks to Peter “Souleo” Wright, and the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling for the write-up and this wonderful opportunity to share our book and our mission.

“Veronica Santiago Liu recalls being an arts organizer since age five or six. But it would be as an adult that she would take on, perhaps, her biggest project to date. On June 17, 2011 she opened Word Up Community Bookshop in an empty storefront in New York’s Washington Heights. Originally envisioned as a transitory site housing a literary fair, Word Up, with support from the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA), soon extended its one-month lease to August 31, 2012. Following the termination of that lease, Liu and team raised over $60,000 via Indiegogo; they moved into a permanent location on July 26, 2013.

As Word Up prepares to celebrate its five-year anniversary, Liu reflects on the shop’s role in the underserved community of Washington Heights. During its run, the volunteer-run space has hosted readings, concerts, art exhibitions and classes. And they’ve helped to redefine the role and purpose of a contemporary bookstore.

On May 14, the Word Up Collective brought their tale to the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling for a dramatic reading of their bilingual children’s bookHome at Word Up: A Story of a Bookshop in Washington Heights. Check out our conversation with Liu about her inspiration for Word Up, learning lessons, their relationship with the Museum and what the future holds.”

Read More…

June 16 – Ovarian Psycos Screening and Live Music


We will be screening Ovarian Psycos, holding a Q&A with Xela de la X, and enjoying a live performance (

Ovarian Psycos – Teaser from on Vimeo.

About Ovarian Psycos (2016): Riding at night through streets deemed dangerous in Eastside Los Angeles, the Ovarian Psycos use their bicycles to confront the violence in their lives. At the helm of the crew is founder Xela de la X, a single mother and poet M.C. dedicated to recruiting an unapologetic, misfit crew of women of color. The film intimately chronicles Xela as she struggles to strike a balance between her activism and nine year old daughter Yoli; street artist Andi who is estranged from her family and journeys to become a leader within the crew; and bright eyed recruit Evie, who despite poverty, and the concerns of her protective Salvadoran mother, discovers a newfound confidence.


Ovarian Psycos is a co-production of Sylvia Frances Films and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a partner of the NEH. Completed with the support of WMM’s Production Assistance Program. Additional Funding was provided by Pacific Pioneer Fund. Ovarian Psycos is produced by Sylvia Frances Films who is solely responsible for its content.


About the music: Cihuatl Ce has been spitting truth to power in the form of politically charged feminist inspired, urban indigenous hip-hop for the past decade. Sharing the stage with underground hip hop heavies such as Dead Prez, Bambu, Broadcast Live, Olmeca, Invincible -to name a few- her high energy performances have won her dedicated support base across the globe. She currently tours in support of her latest album, *FEMI9mm: The Fury of a Wombyn, *released early 2012.


Cihuatl’s reach is not confined solely to the lyrical realm of resistance. For the past 15 years she has been a fervent youth advocate and community organizer. In 2010 she founded the first all womyn of color cycling collective Ovarian Psycos Bicycle Brigade and helped to increase womyn ridership with such landmark events such as LA’s first ever Clitoral Mass attended by close to 300 womyn as well as other rides that address the health disparities specific to womyn of color and at risk communities.

As a mother driven to reach young women with a message of hope, rebellion, and defiance against relics of tradition and patriarchy, Cihuatl Ce is committed to bringing consciousness beyond just the music, unapologetically creating change and leaving fans and casualties in her wake.

Ovarian Psycos Screening and Live Music
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
113 Amsterdam Ave. (at 165 St.)
New York, NY

June 15 – Jazz Foundation Presents Wayne Escoffery: Tenor Traditions


Jazz Foundation Presents Wayne Escoffery: Tenor Traditions
$5 Suggested Donation to Celebrate Word Up’s 5th Birthday

One of the major voices in jazz of his generation, Grammy-winning tenor saxophonist and proud Sugar Hill resident Wayne Escoffery returns to Word Up for a special program: Tenor Traditions. Sharing the front line with two of his formidable tenor sax peers, Myron Walden and Troy Roberts, Escoffery will surely bring the uptown spirit. Presented by the Jazz Foundation of America’s Gig Fund program.,

Wayne Escoffery, Myron Walden, Troy Roberts – Tenor Sax
Rashaan Carter – Bass
Darrell Green – Drums

 Jazz Foundation Presents Wayne Escoffery: Tenor Traditions
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
113 Amsterdam Ave. (at 165 St.)
New York, NY