January 9, 2013
Word Up reaches its goal
by Claire Kelley
While 2013 began with ominous closings, one bookstore real estate success is the campaign of Word Up, a Washington Heights bookstore and community space that achieved their January 1st goal of raising $60,000 with an indiegogo fundraiser. These funds will allow them to relocate after losing their lease and being forced to close in August 2012.
Led by Seven Stories Press editor Veronica Liu, who was interviewed by MobyLives at the end of 2011, the volunteer-run bookstore offers books in English, Spanish, and Russian and will now be able to find a permanent space for author readings, theater projects, children’s events, musical performances, and books.
A New York Daily News celebratory article quoted Liu:
“The success of the campaign has really reenergized us,” she said. “We’re really excited to make good on our promise to set up a bookshop and arts space in the heights … We need to find a space and set it up.”
A local ABC 7 report below explains why this is such a victory for the Washington Heights neighborhood. “People who live in this community describe it as being starved for bookstores — there’s not another one in sight on northern Broadway,” explains reporter Art McFarland. “And the one they called Word Up was more than just a bookstore.”
Bookstores like Word Up are more than advertising space for online retailers or a place to buy a cup of coffee. They are the lifeblood of the community, places for interaction, learning, creativity and the arts.
We look forward to Word Up’s next phase and celebrate this success.
Claire Kelley is the Director of Library and Academic Marketing at Melville House.