Writer’s Wordshop Foundation
Frequently Asked Questions
The Writers Wordshop was established to provide a platform for writers of all types, with a special interest in African American and urban populations with limited resources. The level of writing skills have declined over the years in American educational schools, especially in urban public education, where a large number of African American and Hispanic students attend. With increasing popularity of the internet, youth and adults are spending more time talking in coded language instead of developing reading and writing skills. There is a rising interest in “spoken word poetry” and rap music, which has captured the voice of urban America. The Writers Wordshop gives a platform to this voice.
For the past 40 years the Writers Wordshop has provided a weekly platform for writers and poets to present their works in a non-threatening space. There have been writing workshops, publishing opportunities, nationally published writers and poets who have presented their works to local writers, television and radio exposure has been provided for writers and poets in Central Pennsylvania, and state-wide conferences have also been provided by the Wordshop. The Writers Wordshop has also provided after-school programs, and given away free books during many community events. The Writers Wordshop has form a partnership with the Harrisburg Police Athletic League, the NAACP ACT-SO student organization, local churches, and local school districts to encourage reading and writing as an alternative to violence and criminal activity.
Funding organizations will help the Writers Wordshop continue to provide programs, books and platforms for citizens living in Central Pennsylvania to enjoy the benefits of reduced crime, a more engaged youth population in pursuit uplifting goals, and a thriving creative community in which to live.
The Writers Wordshop has in-kind gifts from Mid-Town Scholar Bookstore, which allows the Writers Wordshop to hold weekly Poetry Readings 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Friday evenings; in-kind from the State Museum of Pennsylvania, which gives use of their facility five-times a year to conduct Black History Programs, Fatherhood Programs, Martin Luther King Celebrations, African American Storytelling Celebrations, and Holiday Celebrations; In-Kind from Harrisburg Community College which gives host to our Annual Kwanzaa Celebration, and Harrisburg University of Science and Technology which host the Wordshop during special events. The Wordshop receives donations from individuals and organizations, such as A Miracle 4 Sure, Penn State University Harrisburg, CRAM Inc., and Imani African Christian Church. The Wordshop shares an office with Life Esteem Inc. at 900 S. Arlington Ave. Suite 149B, Harrisburg, PA 17109.
The Writers Wordshop has a working relationship with Community Arts Ink, a publishing company that makes it possible for the Wordshop and Wordshop members to become published at a reasonable cost.
Prospective funding organizations have a mission to address certain issues in the communities they serve. The Writers Wordshop has in its mission the creation of a better community through writing, reading, spoken word, and education. The Writers Wordshop has a specific mission to destroy the school to prison pipeline, by sending more students to state universities instead of state prisons. Through writing and developing individual voices we can address many of the issues that our funding organizations have as theirs missions work.
The Writers Wordshop, for over 40 years, has provided Poets, Spoken Word Artist, Actors, and novelist to participate in many community events, school programs, church gatherings, and governmental functions, to give voice to the many concerns and destructive forces that divide us. Since 1998 the Writers Wordshop has provided four Poet Laureates to the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, starting with its founder Rev. Nathaniel Gadsden. The Writers Wordshop has maintained a solid working relationship with the Pennsylvania Council On the Arts, State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg NAACP ACT-SO program, Jump Street Inc., Harrisburg Area Community College, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology and Mid-Town Scholar Bookstore.
We have a saving account at First National Bank. All financial donations are placed in our account made out to Nathaniel Gadsden’s Writers Wordshop Foundation. The bank provides a monthly statement which is reviewed by the President and Treasure of the Board, then presented to the Board members. Once a year the financial records of the Wordshop are audited by an accountant and presented to the Board of Directors for review and approval.
The Writers Wordshop plans to pursue grants and donations that will ensure the continued success of this anchor organization in Central Pennsylvania. The Wordshop has created annual events and weekly events that seek to maintain the interest and community following that will keep the organization relevant for years to come.