Hard to get all my thoughts in order after such a productive day at Bookcamp yesterday.
To make this totally selfish, I’ll focus on the session I chaired, and write about other stuff tomorrow probably.
It started disastrously with a location mix-up so I thought for a few minutes no-one was interested. Far from it! People came downstairs, I did a five-slide explanation (visible here) of what I thought was important, that a literacy centre inspired by 826 in London would be a great way to take advantage of the creative forces here and to provide an inspirational focus for literacy in general.
Best question came from Anna Jay, who said, “What now?”, when there had been a lot of brainstorming and mulling, but ultimately the project exists in my head just now, and I (or in cooperation with nice people who want to help) need to go about finding ways to set something up.
The two basic issues are getting a) funding and b) a location; everything else after that is a matter of working out details and getting people to donate their time to help out. To model the project after 826, the idea is to get a shop that could be used as both an education space and as a themed retail location that helps fund the literary activities. The premise being that the retail side is the hook that gets publicity and gets kids interested in what goes on inside.
Possible options/areas to explore:
- Talk to Oxfam for advice on shoplets and what options Not For Profits have
- Find someone with business expertise to help plan this
- Find a way to pester some big-name authors who might be interested in being associated with it
- If getting an actual shop location might be difficult, talk to museums/galleries about possibilty of getting involved with their programs. V&A do similar art projects, why not art and literature?
- Flash shops? Pop-up shops?
- Talk to some people in Education at Goldsmiths about the curriculum side of this, deliverables etc
- Bookshops? Any bookshops with space that would like to get involved
- Talk to 826 and other similar projects, advice on how they started
- Think of funding possibilities
- Find people who might be already trying to do similar things