Literary Arts, the Portland writers and readers organization, is not only celebrating its 30th anniversary, but also hosting the 2015 Wordstock Festival – Portland’s festival of books – on a bigger stage, and launching a new writers’ fund.
Literary Arts strives to “engage readers, support writers, and inspire the next generation with great literature.”
Andrew Proctor, executive director of the organization, said he was excited to announce that the organization is acquiring Wordstock, The festival will be held at the Portland Art Museum on November 7, 2015.
Previously, Wordstock was held at the Oregon Convention Center. The Oregonian said the festival, founded in 2005, has struggled in recent years — losing its executive director and connection to Powell’s City of Books.
Proctor said when the Director of the Portland Art Museum, Brian Ferriso, announced he would provide the museum for the festival, it changed things in a big way.
“It lightened the overhead: we’re not paying rent,” Proctor said. “It created a dynamic place for the festival. It’s not just the galleries, it’s the Mark Building. It will feel like Portland in ways that generic convention centers can’t.”
The new fund – Brian Booth’s Writers’ Fund – memorializes the founder of Literary Arts, and is a permanent endowment for Oregon authors. The fund is a novel partnership with the Oregon Community Foundation, which will not only manage the endowment but match the next $100,000 in gifts.
“Writers create in solitude,” Booth said. “They’re lonely out there. To have someone show up and say, ‘This is worthwhile,’ and ‘You’re part of this larger community,’ is everything for a writer.”
Literary Arts has already raised $1.2 million toward its $2 million endowment goal. “At $2 million, you begin to move the needle,” Proctor said. “If you get to $2 million, you have a real shot at getting to $10 million. You create an incubator that is transformative for Oregon writers.”
Proctor said by carrying on Booth’s work, he hopes to strengthen the support of Oregon writers for years to come.
He also said Literary Arts is proud to have the privilege to build upon Wordstock’s history. “We look forward to collaborating with the incredible group of writers, publishers, volunteers, and funders who have built this celebration of literature into an important cultural moment for Portland and for Oregon.”