A Celebration of Words: A Literary Unconference in the City
Lee Chilcote & Amy Rosenbluth
Transformative Arts & Culture category
The little idea for a literary “unconference” has grown into a nonprofit that reaches 2-3,000+ people each year with over 200 hours of programming and the region’s largest annual literary festival, a humanities festival with 60 submissions, and a writing program in a neighborhood plagued by low literacy rates.
On February 25, 2015, Lee Chilcote pitched his ideas for a literary “unconference” in the heart of the city that would offer writing workshops, classes, talks, readings and performances. Its purpose, to foster and nourish the city’s literary community, expose youth and adults to writing and reading, and use the literary arts as a tool for social, economic and community development.
On Saturday, August 1, 2015, that idea came to life as The Cleveland INKubator at the Cleveland Public Library downtown and quickly grew into the launch of a new organization, Literary Cleveland (“Lit Cleveland).” In 2016, Literary Cleveland held more than 50 workshops, readings, talks and networking events, and 225 hours of programming that attracted more than 1,600 participants.
Lit Cleveland joined with 2016 Accelerate finalist Good Cause Blog (now WISH Cleveland) to host a sold-out storytelling workshop in October 2016, with more planned.
In August 2017, the third annual INKubator attracted nearly 500 participants across the span of a week and featured workshops, readings, performances, a writer’s resource fair and open mic session. The culminating day-long conference at Cleveland Public Library drew nearly 300 readers and writers from Northeast Ohio and offered an array of writing workshops, craft talks, and a Resource Fair featuring local literary arts organizations.
Learn more at http://www.litcleveland.org/.