Mellow Pages Library & Reading Room was founded in early February of 2013. Our original space, which was 200 square feet, quickly became recognized as a center for small press, independent and underground literature as well as a vital source for readings and literary gatherings. Following a storm of positive media attention, including the L Magazine, The New York Times and TimeOut New York, we received an outpouring of support and books which caused us to quickly outgrow our space. In July, we made a gamble on our new home, a huge (to us) 400 square foot corner studio in the same building, 56 Bogart. This is an ideal space for both our collection and our event programming, and was a necessary investment for the continuation and expansion of the community we created.
What's most important about this project is the idea that powerful community spaces can be created and sustained by the same communities they support. Mellow Pages is a functional library with over 200 members, and has always been an entirely free resource to the people who wish to use it. We will be keeping it that way. During our experimental first months it was up to us to prove whether or not we could handle the job. We took on that challenge because we were passionate about our idea and felt that a space free of consumer pressures was amiss in the neighborhood. Nothing is for sale in Mellow Pages, everyone is welcome, and you are free to read and work as you wish.
Now that it’s clear Mellow Pages Library is a worthwhile project, we agree it’s time to share the responsibility with those also up for the challenge. Thus far, we have funded the space ourselves, which has been a task we’ve enjoyed struggling through. But after countless strangers asking for ways they can help, this seems like a sensible option. We would love to continue taking on a greater schedule of events, housing more dynamic workshops like Words After War, and supporting the readership of small presses throughout the country. To do this we will need your help.
What We Need & What You Get
We want to be as transparent as possible here. Our goal of 20,000 dollars nominally reflects our needs over the course of one year, 15,000 of which solely amounts to the rent. Don’t get discouraged by this number. Whether or not we reach this goal is not contingent on continuing the dream. We will persevere, as we already have. That said, every dollar helps.
This monetary request represents the latest facet of the experiment: we want to make as big an influence as we can, as positive, to create the best small press experience possible. We are exploring our options. We would like the ability to buy the books we house straight from the publishers (publishers who have thus far donated at their own expense). We want the freedom to begin writing workshops of our own and reading groups with extended hours, to make a more tangible impact. We want proper shelving and proper heating. We want you to be comfortable as well as taken care of. We want some good coffee, and we want to provide that coffee free of charge. The corners of our imagination are bulging here. If we get enough, who knows? A nice camera to record readings? An archive of those readings? (a true to gosh website?) A screen to project movies upon? A karaoke machine that only has poetry? Let us explore.
Our ability to accomplish these things will depend on what we can raise. Sure, we would love to secure a year of rent, and on top of that, extend the goodness. Like we said, everything helps. Our goal is to offer everyone the chance to transform the neighborhood and hopefully alter some of the stigmas surrounding community spaces much like ours (spaces we think will spread if we can set a good enough example).
Here is exactly what your money will help us accomplish:
1) $15,000 secures the future rent of Mellow Pages for exactly one year, allows us to focus on our event programming and frees up time to establish writing workshops and reading groups at extended hours. It also allows us to create a functional website.
2) $20,000 gives us the ability to go on a small press book buying spree (~$2,000) which will allow us to financially support the work we are passionate about and give back to the people who helped us along the way. It will also allow us to build the space to our desires, establish proper shelving and archive our readings for future consumption.
3) $20,000+ We begin to support the people who run and manage the space daily (7 days a week) whose time and energy help produce the programming of events and workshops, the upkeep of the space, the organization of the catalogue and the turnover of checkouts and memberships. If anyone is supportive of providing a small wage to the people who run and established Mellow Pages, these funds will extremely alter our lives. Your generosity will go further than you know, and we thank you for your support.
Other Ways You Can Help
Please, please share this campaign and help us reach our goal! Anything within your power will give us a positive boost, so fear not!
If you have other services you'd like to provide or donate, please do! Everything is welcome and helpful. If you have the skills to help us build, please let us know. If you have heaters, refrigerators, shelves, wood, tools, etc. we would love to share. Know that aside from money there are many ways you can help, and of course we are always eager to receive books of all kinds. Thank You!
Email us with your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out what we do here: http://instagram.com/mellowpageslibrary