For reasons far beyond me, it appears that I've not written much about Word Up on this blog (perhaps it just goes to show how negligent I have been about keeping this blog updated...) In short, Word Up is a collective of artists, musicians, dreamers, authors, actors, revolutionaries, photographers, poets, designers (etc!) that grew out of the fertile cultural soils of Washington Heights and Inwood. We began to meet each other and collaborate on changing the world after the first few volunteers, in June 2011, established a "pop-up bookshop" inside a storefront on Broadway and 176 street. 

Out of this perfectly-located space, in the middle of the "book desert" that is uptown Manhattan, we offered new and used books (for cheap!) and provided a stage where locals could express themselves in almost any medium they could imagine! And I knew immediately upon stepping foot in the store that it was itself the NYC manifestation of the 3rd fold of my three-fold-vision for Chicago!

The store was originally expected to stay open for only one month, but due in large part to widespread support from the neighborhood, we were able to stay put for over a year! Higher rent costs finally pushed us out of the space by the end of August this year.

But Word Up has always been much more than a space to meet in. We are a collective of kickass people. So as long as we continue to meet and change the world - particularly our neighborhood - together, we are alive and well!

One of the recent big projects was to organize the launch of a new arts organization in the hood, the United Palace of Cultural Arts. For one action-packed night, we pooled our collective awesomeness and splashed it all around the magnificent building just across the street from where our beloved store was once located. We even popped up a small version of the bookstore in the lobby!
The next big project is to raise funds for our re-opening. I will bring more details about this as soon as they are available. In the mean time, enjoy these videos with footage from the UPCA launch and the past year at WU!
 



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