Dear friends, colleagues, and neighbors,
I am over-the-top excited to let you know that Word Up Community Bookshop—volunteer-run by residents of Washington Heights and Inwood—has signed a lease for a sunny corner storefront at 2113 Amsterdam Avenue, at 165th Street!
An official opening date has not yet been set. Stay tuned for updates.
I’m not going to lie and say the past 9 months weren’t tough. Finding a physical home for an idea that had taken root in the minds of fellow neighbors was not a task we took lightly. (And have you ever seen an apartment with part of a bookshop moved into it?) But after months of searching, meeting, deliberating, and preparing, we’re proud of our new home and are already dreaming of future collaborations with you.
We’re also ecstatic about our new landlord, Community League of the Heights (CLOTH), a community development organization that takes a holistic approach to improving quality of life for residents of southern Washington Heights, with a special focus on housing. CLOTH’s Ingrid Gomez-Faria said that having Word Up as a tenant is “consistent with the mission,” and that the bookshop’s educational focus “goes hand in hand with housing.” CLOTH, which also began as a volunteer organization when it was started in 1952, additionally focuses on health services, advocacy and organizing, and environmental activism.
Beyond just telling you this good news, I want to thank you for all you’ve contributed to Word Up. If you’re reading this, you’ve collaborated on some aspect of the bookshop or its programming, given useful advice, written thoughtful articles, popped a dollar or more into our (sometimes online) coffee cans, co-conspired for the future, listened thoughtfully, taken action—or maybe all of the above. I want to especially thank Sandra Garcia Betancourt and everyone at NoMAA for guiding us though our first year to facilitating our initial talks with CLOTH, and Martin Collins for tipping us all off to that gorgeous storefront to begin with.
I hope to see you soon, at Word Up, in the neighborhood, in the city, in the summer!
on behalf of the Word Up Collective