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Support Word Up in 2019

As we approach the end of 2019, we have been reflecting on what an exciting year we’ve had at Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria. We celebrated our eighth birthday back in June, and we have continued to grow and thrive, expanding the possibilities of what bookstores can do.

We want to continue to make space for community dialogue and the stories of our neighborhood. Please join us by making a special year-end contribution to Word Up. We are a 501(c)(3) organization, so your donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. If your employer matches donations, please keep us in mind. Thank you in advance for your support!

In collaboration with the hundreds of you who volunteer, participate, suggest, stop by, and dream with us each and every week, here’s a snapshot of what’s been happening at Word Up:

We created UPTOWN READSa 5-month program inviting all of Uptown NYC to read the same book together, starting with Angie Cruz’s Dominicana, for which we hosted the launch along with Dominican Writers and Flatiron Books, at Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center.


We initiated the first-ever UPTOWN KID LIT Festival for children’s literature in Inwood Hill Park in September. More than 700 kids and their families joined us for special story times, panels, and crafting activities with a host of amazing authors, illustrators, and local organizations, as well as giveaways of school supplies and 1,000+ BOOKS!

During BookExpo, we hosted an Uptown Literary Happy Hour that featured authors Kalisha Buckhanon, Ta-Nehisi CoatesJaquira DíazMalcolm Tariq, and Dina Nayeri.


We organized a day-long symposium devoted to the work of octogenarian Dominican-American poet, translator, and educator Rhina Espaillat.

We celebrated books like Cherríe Moraga’s memoir Native Country of the Heart, Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan‘s young adult novel Watch Us Rise, Amanda Alcántara‘s proudly independently published Chula, Matthew A. Cherry and Vashti Harrison‘s children’s picture book Hair Love, local business owner Sarina Prabasi‘s memoir The Coffeehouse Resistance, and Willie Perdomo‘s new poetry book The Crazy Bunch.


And, BEYOND BOOKS . . .

The Heights/El Alto printmaking project—commissioned by Word Up and Realengo Studio—invited visual artists who have lived uptown for 17+ years to reflect on changes in the neighborhood, and culminated in an artist talk at Word Up before the exhibit moved to the Inwood Library.

Our educational offerings included two multi-week comics classes; Spanish-language writing workshops; a series of professional development workshops for those interested in literary fields who are less represented in the publishing industry; two series of writing workshops organized by Dominican Writers; kids’ music classes presented by Listen Closely; and a writing workshop focused on queer, trans, and intersex youth in collaboration with inQluded. We have hosted dozens of Uptown Stories’ culminating readings, multiple P.S. 132 “I Am” art exhibitions, and lots more presentations by educational institutions from all over.

In sheer numbers: we hosted 300+ in-store events—readings, art exhibits, classes, workshops, community meetings, screenings, concerts, and story times—in English, Spanish, Dominicanish, Italian, Korean, and more, and sometimes with live interpretation; welcomed school visits from 500+ students from our local elementary, middle, and high schools, daycares, and colleges; facilitated internships for 20 students; distributed 17,000+ books through in-store and online sales and donations to other organizations, schools, prisons, shelters, and more; clocked 7,000+ hours of volunteer work in store and in the community; and staffed 83 offsite events around the city. For this work, Word Up received an Honorable Mention for the National Book Foundation’s Innovations in Reading Prize.

We want to continue to make space for community dialogue and the stories of our neighborhood. Please join us by making a special year-end contribution to Word Up.

Word Up is a 501(c)(3) organization, so your donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. If your employer matches donations, please keep us in mind. Thank you in advance for your support!

December 15 – andPlay (in) conversation with Sky Macklay

RSVP here

andPlay, a violin/viola duo based in New York City, focuses on commissioning new works and performing lesser-known contemporary ones. andPlay is especially passionate about the collaborative experience of creating new music. In order to share this process with the wider community, andPlay began a series of free events beginning in 2019 at public venues in Manhattan, entitled “andPlay (in) conversation.” Each event includes a guest composer who is a former or current collaborator with andPlay. This event features Sky Macklay. Macklay’s 2019 composition for andPlay, Maps (of Friendship), is a humorous look at the benefits and woes of commuting and transportation in our daily lives.

This event is made possible in part with funding from the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation and administered by LMCC.

andPlay (in) conversation with Sky Macklay
Sunday, December 15, 2019
4:30–5:30pm

Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032
RSVP

November 16 – Innosanto Nagara & R. Zamora Linmark in conversation

RSVP HERE

Join Innosanto Nagara (M is for Movement; A is for Activist) and R. Zamora Linmark (The Importance of Being Wilde at Heart; Rolling the Rs) in celebrating their new books, written for age groups that are new to each writer (ages 8–12, and teens, respectively).

Children’s book author and illustrator Innosanto Nagara’s books encourage children to grow up with confidence in themselves, and to be proactive citizens. Born and raised in Indonesia, Inno moved to the US in 1988. Inno lives in Oakland in a cohousing community with nine adults and eight kids.

Poet, novelist, and playwright R. Zamora Linmark was born in Manila and educated in Honolulu. He is the author of four poetry collections and the novels Leche (Coffee House Press) and Rolling the R’s (Kaya Press), which he adapted for the stage. He lives in Honolulu and Manila.

Innosanto Nagara has done it again—and how lucky we all are for that! M is for Movement is another bold, bright, powerful book that uses a relatable personal narrative to relay a complex political history—and a necessary lesson in how ordinary people can create extraordinary change. It’s a riveting, empowering, and visually stunning adventure.”—Kate Schatz, New York Times–bestselling author of Rad American Women A-Z, Rad Women Worldwide, and Rad Girls Can

“[R. Zamora] Linmark’s [The Importance of Being Wilde at Heart] is definitely offbeat and wild(e)ly imaginative, inviting long thoughts about the uncertainty of love, with its wonderment and hummingbird heartbeats. Beautifully written, sad as a Wilde fairy tale, and home to highly empathic characters, the novel is a rich reading experience that would make the ineffable Oscar proud.”Booklist

Innosanto Nagara & R. Zamora Linmark in conversation
Saturday, November 16, 2019
3pm
Word Up Community Bookshop
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032
RSVP
Can’t make the event? Order the books here  & here.

November 17 – andPlay (in) conversation with David Bird

RSVP here

andPlay, a violin/viola duo based in New York City, focuses on commissioning new works and performing lesser-known contemporary ones. andPlay is especially passionate about the collaborative experience of creating new music. In order to share this process with the wider community, andPlay began a series of free events beginning in 2019 at public venues in Manhattan, entitled “andPlay (in) conversation.” Each event includes a guest composer who is a former or current collaborator with andPlay. This event features composer and Harlem resident David Bird. Bird’s two works for andPlay are included on their debut CD, playlist (September 2019, New Focus Recordings).

This event is made possible in part with funding from the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation and administered by LMCC.

andPlay (in) conversation with David Bird
Sunday, November 17, 2019
3–4pm

Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032
RSVP

November 2 – inQluded Workshop: Finding Your Voice

***THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW FULL, but please see more information about inQluded here: inqluded.org.***

inQluded is a digital magazine and platform for QTIBIPoC youth. Beyond the digital space, inQluded offers free writing workshops and hosts author panels.

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