“Too good to die.” – New York Times, June 2013, Jim Dwyer

Word Up Community Bookshop is an all-volunteer-run multilingual, general-interest community bookshop and arts space in Washington Heights, committed to preserving and building a neighborhood in which all residents help each other to live better informed and more expressive lives, using books as an instrument of reciprocal education and exchange, empowering not only themselves, but their community. Word Up is also known as a performance venue in Washington Heights for both emerging artists and international stars.

Founded in 2011, Word up is located in a primarily low or middle income council district in the second-most populated district in Manhattan. The majority of the neighborhood is of Hispanic descent, though there is also a high concentration of African-American residents in Word Up’s immediate area. The neighborhood contains the highest concentration of children in Manhattan. Word up is committed to keeping event admission low and often free so these important conversations remain accessible to all residents in the neighborhood. The collective has distributed tens of thousands of books, hosted thousands of performers in all arts disciplines, and co-programmed a literary festival and other special events, including two large-scale talks with Pulitzer Prize winner and MacArthur Genius Fellow Junot Díaz

Featured Image Photo Credit: E Abreu Visuals