The Loft advances the power of writers and readers to craft and share stories, to create and celebrate connections, and to build just, life-sustaining communities.
We envision a world where the power of the word liberates minds, deepens relationships, and inspires movements for people and planet.
As an antiracist organization, the Loft develops programs, services, and events for writers, readers, and storytellers because racism dehumanizes people, and stories and verse reconnect us to our shared humanity. Recognizing the relationship between race, power, and resources, we prioritize the engagement of BIPOC/marginalized communities and work for the equitable distribution of our power and resources.
- Creativity: We advance the craft and capacity of writers to create across diverse forms and platforms. We are adaptive and cultivate the conditions that allow for our imaginations and our humanity to thrive.
- Connection: Our literary experiences cultivate belonging and inclusivity. We recognize our interdependence and accountability to community. We draw on the wisdom of our ancestors to build resilience and consider the impact of our actions on future generations.
- Justice: We recognize that oppression, colonization, and extractive economies threaten life in our communities and on our planet. We are committed to antiracist, equitable, and life-sustaining practices in our literary offerings and our approach to work.
- Care: We center people and promote a culture of wellness in all aspects of our work.
- Courage: We meet discomfort, fear, complexity, anxiety, trauma, and uncertainty with radical openness, generosity of spirit, and love. We continually evolve our skillfulness. We recognize the value of generative conflict. We cultivate trust-based relationships with people and values-based relationships with money.
- Curiosity: We play, practice, and experiment. We recognize that joy and ongoing learning are necessary for innovation, restoration, and resilience.
Founded in 1974 and incorporated on August 22, 1975, the Loft started in the loft space above Marly Rusoff's bookstore. We started as a grassroots gathering space for poets and writers to share their work and improve their craft. Over the years, we have grown to become one of the nation’s leading independent literary centers. Annually, the Loft offers hundreds of classes, awards and grants for writers, readings and events, major festivals and conferences, and other resources for readers and writers.
Each year the Loft engages more than 5,000 beginning, intermediate, and advanced writers in learning opportunities, hosts more than 250 authors in readings and dialogues that draw more than 15,000 people, connects with more than 200,000 unique visitors through digital resources on our website, collaborates with at least 30 local and national organizations to enrich the literary environment and, through contracts, awards, and grants, pays writers more than $400,000.
In their evaluations, 96% of students report that their class helped them improve their writing, 96% identified their next steps as a writer, and 96% said they made progress toward their writing goals. Of Loft event attendees who completed evaluations, 96% said the event introduced them to new books or authors, 97% said the event will make them a more engaged reader, and 97% said they were inspired to have conversation with others about the book's or author dialogue topic.
The Loft is honored to have many generous funding partners, but the impact of individual members has led the Loft forward since day one. Over the years, thousands of members have affirmed that stories are essential and belong at the center of civic life. Their investment means that we can offer programs, services, and awards to readers and writers of all ages, genres, and experience levels. If you, too, wish to support and uphold the singular community for narrative arts found at the Loft, we invite you to become a member today.