It’s been six months since Hurricane Sandy. New York City and New Jersey were hit hardest and communities are still rebuilding. People are still struggling to get their lives back on track. It has been particularly difficult for small businesses. The South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan, a hub for shops, restaurants, and entertainment, was under water during Sandy. Many of those businesses are still closed, or in the process of being renovated. As I recently walked through the Seaport, I felt the cold of its cobblestone walkways. Few people were out, and the few I saw were mostly tourists taking pictures of the now gated property. Doors with huge locks on them and sandbags are now the neighborhood’s main attraction. Fulton Market is completely closed.
The mall is like a ghost town. Some stores are closed, and those that are open remain empty. Booths that were once surrounded by people are gone. Of the few that remain, only one person lingers there. The food court is quiet. Some of the popular restaurants are closed, including the Harbour Lights Restaurant. People congregate outside where the Brooklyn Bridge is seen in the distance. Damage to the exterior of the pier is still evident. (more…)
Each year 40 young people participate in NY Writers Coalition’s six-week series of free outdoor creative writing workshops and in an end-of-summer reading, the Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival. Lit Fest presents well-known, established writers reading alongside the young writers from the workshops.
NYWC’s summer writing program for youth honors the power of the written word to build inclusiveness and give voice to the thoughts and experiences of everyone, not just the privileged and powerful. Past Lit Fest readers include Amiri Baraka, Jennifer Egan, Jhumpa Lahiri, Rick Moody, Gloria Naylor, Sapphire, Sonia Sanchez, Colson Whitehead and many others.
Due to funding cuts by the National Endowment for the Arts, NYWC must raise $6,000 before the summer. It costs NYWC $25 per young writer (per week) to provide the Fort Greene Park Summer Youth Workshops free of charge to the public, totaling $150 per writer for the summer.
Please consider making a contribution here so that we may continue to provide this program to the dedicated and talented writers of tomorrow — and remember to join us for this year’s Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival on August 24!
NY Writers Coalition has helped unheard voices be heard for over ten years now by way of our city-wide workshops, reading events, and NY Writers Coalition Press publications. This year, we’re happy to dip our toes into another golden pond with our first film, Voices of NY Writers Coalition.
Here, a few of NYWC’s dedicated workshop leaders and participants discuss the work, share their writing, and remind us of the importance of bringing voice to the voiceless in New York City.
Special thanks to Louise Crawford, Erick Fix, and Marian Fontana for their hard work in making this video happen, as well as to all the writers and workshop leaders who appeared in the film. Enjoy!
This week, New York City rang in May Day through a series of demonstrations and events. Now you can continue the celebration of Global Labor Solidarity by attending the second annual Workers Unite! Film Festival, which runs May 10th through 17th at several locations in downtown Manhattan. The festival brings together worker voices from around the world, and invites all of us to share our trials and triumphs in our collective struggle toward democracy at work.
According to the Workers Unite! website: “The Festival aims to showcase student and professional films from the United States and around the world which publicize and highlight the struggles, successes and daily lives of all workers in their efforts to unite and organize for better living conditions and social justice.”
Now is a great time to register—anyone who makes a $25.00 donation gets a uniquely designed 2013 Workers Unite Film Festival t-shirt and one full day pass to any day of the festival.
For more information or to make a donation, click here.
National Volunteer Week is coming to a close, but we couldn’t let it pass without giving a shout-out to NYWC’s Volunteer Corps program. Our creative writing workshops are the crux of the work we do here and our over forty volunteers have allowed us to conduct over 1,000 workshops in 2012 alone. The Volunteer Corps, our cohort of volunteers who do not lead workshops, allow us to expand our reach and strengthen our programs in 2013 and beyond.