Friday, October 3, 2014

Feature Friday: Creating a Literary District in Boston

From The Boston Globe:

The end of this story has yet to be written. But if things go as the city’s literary community hopes, sometime in 2015, Boston will be home to what’s believed to be the nation’s first literary cultural district. Its proponents don’t know exactly where its borders will lie, or what, precisely, visitors will do, but more significant is this: the very idea that there could be a literary cultural district is recognition that the city is undergoing a renaissance.
In September, a group led by Grub Street, an independent writing center, won a two-year $42,500 planning grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council . The coalition will use the money to refine its concept and pitch the commission for designation. “The challenge,” said Eve Bridburg, Grub Street’s executive director, “is to make the literary visible.”

...The literary group working towards the cultural district designation includes the Boston Public Library, the Boston Athenaeum, the City of Boston, the Drum (“a literary magazine for your ears”) and the Boston Book Festival.
Members want to celebrate Boston’s literary past as well as its present. They envision walking tours (beyond the Literary Landmarks run by Boston By Foot); literary-related street art; call-outs for interesting exhibits at the BPL and the Athenaeum; collaborations with school children; interactive installations; and even an audio story written specifically for the route a visitor might take through the district. Open an app, and the streets themselves form the scene for the tale. No word yet on any Kindle charging stations. 
“I see it as a Broadway for writers,” said Henriette Lazaridis Power, editor of the Drum. “The way Broadway is a loosely defined geographic area of New York and everyone knows that’s where you go to find theater, this is a place where people who want to take in writing in the forms of events will go, and writers will find resources there.”



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