Literary Arts, Inc., the Portland-based nonprofit organization celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year, has acquired the Wordstock Festival, the nine-year-old program that celebrates the transformative power of words and books. The Wordstock Festival will re-launch as a one-day event on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at the Portland Art Museum in Downtown Portland. Literary Arts is committed to an annual festival for the next three years as a pilot project. The other programs of Literary Arts include Portland Arts & Lectures (one of the nation’s largest subscription series), Writers in the Schools, the Oregon Book Awards & Fellowships, and Delve Readers Seminars.
Wordstock began in 2005 and is the largest celebration of literature and literacy in the Pacific Northwest. Each year, the festival brings together thousands of readers and hundreds of small presses, independent publishers, nonprofits, and independent booksellers, along with 150+ authors. Wordstock and Literary Arts are dedicated to connecting attendees to contemporary writers, and the festival includes a series of knowledge and skill workshops for practicing writers called Wordstock for Writers.
“We feel we can best serve our community with this new home for the festival,” explains Wordstock Board Chair Michele Wasson, who initiated the conversation with Literary Arts in December 2013. “Literary Arts has a national reputation as one of the leading literary centers in the country, with a 30-year history of connecting an intergenerational reading audience with the leading writers and thinkers of the day. This acquisition allows the festival to continue to develop as a world-class event, with a deeper level of support, while becoming more efficient in terms of overhead and administrative costs.”
Literary Arts’ Executive Director Andrew Proctor says, “We feel fortunate to have the opportunity to build on 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.”
Jessica Mozeico, Board Chair of Literary Arts, adds, “Presenting the Wordstock Festival gives Literary Arts the chance to engage readers and writers in an exciting way. It’s a perfect complement to our other programs that serve both emerging and established writers, publishers, and readers. We are grateful for the support of funders and community partners and look forward to working with organizations here in Oregon, publishers from coast to coast, and our partners from around the country to continue to build a festival of national stature.”