Under new ownership since April of this year, Irvington Vinyl & Books, formerly Bookmamas and Irvington Vinyl, works actively to provide creative resources and opportunities to the community. We host free events several times a month that foster the arts while simultaneously providing education and access for participants. However, as a fledgling business, funding the future of these projects is not always possible. Below are three of our regular events that we’d love to see grow and continue to serve Marion County.
Gluestick: First envisioned by former NUVO staff member, Kelsey Simpson as a collective in 2007, this organization provides free literature in the form of handmade zines as well as education in the production of zines. Simply put, zines are stapled, paper booklets. They can be made by anyone and are designed to be cheaply produced and distributed. Because of this they’ve often been used to stimulate community around music, art, and poetry. Kelsey and Gluestick are partners of Irvington Vinyl & Books and together we’ve been working to make zines with and for the community by leading workshops in prisons, teaching community members for free in local venues like The Green Room at Metonymy Media and Square Cat Vinyl, as well as doing collaborative community publications like Graveyard Smash, in which we invite attendees of the Irvington Halloween Festival to contribute a page as they enjoy the event. We’ll be using money from Patreon subscribers to support this partnership with Gluestick allowing us to continue to provide free art supplies to the community, to teach free workshops, and to help people publish and distribute their zines.
Poets Attack: Not enough attention gets drawn to Indianapolis’ vibrant creative community. What especially goes unnoticed is the plethora of writing talent we seem to spark up--say nothing of Vonnegut and John Green. However, when national writers book tours they tend to go straight from Columbus into Chicago, bypassing us entirely. This leaves our writers at a disadvantage. Our writing community needs those connections with outside writers to network and grow and that’s where Poets Attack comes in. The last Wednesday of every month, IVB hosts national poets to read alongside local poets. To do so, we offer to pay for half of their travel expenses. The way we’d like to expand this event with Patreon funding support is to be able to pay these outside writers an honorarium for reading on our stage and to also have them host an hour long workshop before the reading begins to anyone who’d like to participate.
How to Stop Being Scared and Start Publishing: Being a writer on the scene can often feel isolating. Oh you haven’t published? You don’t know what an SASE is? You’ve never heard of flash fiction? These types of inquiries can make beginning writers feel like there’s too much to overcome to even get started in the writing and publishing world. This workshop happens monthly, is free and open to all writers no matter your skill level. We discuss subjects ranging from how to write a pitch or query letter, to the editing process, to how to hold a microphone and take up space on stage. The goal is to do more than just teach however. Writers need community, like minds to bounce ideas off of, to peer edit, and to feel supported. This event fosters just such a community. By better connecting the writers of Indianapolis and helping them realize they can learn so much just from being peers, we ensure that our local scene flourishes, grows, and better imprints on a national scale.
For Colored Girls Book Club: This book club is organized by local poet Gizelle Fletcher. Just entering its 6th month of existence, this series has garnered a community of over 200 individuals. Not only does Gizelle make very intentional reading selections of texts exclusively written by black women, she enlists local moderators who serve the arts and music community of Indianapolis. These people add their own context by facilitating a conversation about the books that both examines the role of black women in a fictionalized world and our present day. Attendance at this event continues to grow and it’s our goal to expand into providing even more value for attendees in the form of readings lists, discussion questions, and eventually bringing black women authors into the shop to discuss their writing life and experiences.