WaHi’s Word Up Book Store Gets Grant To Offset Coronavirus Losses

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, NY — The Word Up: Community Bookshop in Washington Heights is getting aid in its battle against the financial hardships that have come along with the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, the Humanities New York (HNY) organization, which commits itself to strengthening civil society and the bonds of community, […]

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, NY — The Word Up: Community Bookshop in Washington Heights is getting aid in its battle against the financial hardships that have come along with the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, the Humanities New York (HNY) organization, which commits itself to strengthening civil society and the bonds of community, announced that Word Up Books is receiving $2,500 in the form of a grant from the HNY’s CARES program.

Word Up: Community Bookshop is located at 2113 Amsterdam Ave. on the corner of 165th street in Washington Heights.

Word Up can use the funds for the following:

  • Staff salaries and benefits, rent, and utilities.

  • Programmatic Humanities offerings.

  • Costs associated with remote work, virtual programming, and enhanced facility cleaning and sanitation.

On the other hand, Word Up cannot use the grant for construction, expansion, or renovation of a facility.

The Humanities New York CARES program looks to provide grants to nonprofit cultural organizations facing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The funding of the grants is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the federal CARES Act.

The goal of the grants are to “help organizations remain vital to their communities by being better able to retain staff, shift-in person programming to online, and make resources available to those who depend on them for education and connection,” according to Scarlett Rebman, the director of grants at Humanities New York.

“Word Up is a multilingual, general-interest community bookshop and arts space in Washington Heights, New York City, committed to preserving and building a neighborhood in which all residents help each other live better informed and more expressive lives, using books as an instrument of reciprocal education and exchange, empowering not only themselves, but their community,” reads the about page on Word Up’s website.

A collective of over 60 neighborhood residents operate the Washington Height’s book store, and since its founding, nearly 500 neighbors have trained as volunteers, according to its website.

Word Up first opened in June 2011 on the corner of W. 176 Street and Broadway and moved to its current location at 165th Street and Amsterdam Ave. in 2013.

Word Up did not immediately respond to Patch’s request for comment.

This article originally appeared on the Washington Heights-Inwood Patch

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