Loft lobby and coffee shopI have frequently extolled the great experience of the seminars and workshops of the Loft Literary Center of Minneapolis.  When one thinks of struggling artists, one assumes an organization such as the Loft might also limp along always in danger of tripping on a shoestring budget, but that is really not the case.  Well supported by several substantial foundations, the Loft is thriving.  The front page of the Loft website features info about the upcoming 35th anniversary celebration scheduled for June 3rd.  I’m registering today.

Although the Loft has been around for over three decades, it really took off about ten years ago when it moved into a rehabbed warehouse in downtown Minneapolis.  The building is now called the Open Book, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune has a fine feature story commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Open Book with events scheduled for Saturday, May 8th.

“We” is Open Book, which is marking its 10th anniversary as the nation’s first such organization devoted to the literary arts. The Loft, Milkweed Editions and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts will host free readings, performances, demonstrations, discussions, sample classes and special giveaways. Events are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the center, 1011 Washington Av. S.

From [Milkweed CEO] Slager’s viewpoint, the much-vaunted literary culture here [in Minneapolis] played a key role in Open Book making it to 10 years, “but there’s also a philanthropic culture that makes this place more than the sum of its parts. It’s one thing to have the farsightedness to see possibilities, but to also have the wherewithal and generosity to get it done is what makes the difference here.”