Word Up Community Bookshop / Librería Comunitaria

When I was living in Washington Heights, NYC circa 2010, a friend of a friend was launching a community bookstore/events venue called Word Up.  The Heights had no sizable bookstores at the time, and few public venues for community arts.  

Word Up started in the midst of a deep recession, when independent bookstores were closing everywhere, including in Manhattan.  This one, a not-for-profit, kept afloat thanks to volunteers, donors, and neighborhood advocates.  

Word Up embodies the “new participatory culture” that Staulings and Mauldin seek to make visible to traditional arts supporters.  The organization thrives as a platform, not a program, for “creative expression.”  I find this wildly inspiring, especially for Manhattan, where the rental market is so inimical to grassroots institutions. 

Check them out here:  https://wordupbooks.wordpress.com/about-us/

image credit: Daily NYC: https://www.innewyork.com/blog/daily-nyc/shop/word-answers-washington-heights-need-bookstore

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