More than a mere convention for those in the written word business, Wordstock has been a vibrant celebration of the literary arts for nine years. And now Wordstock has a new venue – and benefactor.
In the past, the festival has operated out of the Oregon Convention Center. This year, festival organizers will take a brief hiatus to prepare for Wordstock’s 2015 reincarnation at its new venue, the Portland Art Museum. Brian Ferriso, Executive Director of the Portland Art Museum, is enthusiastic about the event, revealing that Wordstock will not only take place within the larger venues of the museum, but also throughout the gallery space, where compelling art will be a part of the overall festival.
Wordstock’s change in venue is the result of a beneficiary relationship with Literary Arts. Since 1984, the nationally recognized program has been associated with the Portland Art Museum, where it launched the subscription series, Portland Arts & Lectures.
Woodstock’s association with Literary Arts will bring additional funding, but also expectations — expectations that Literary Arts can help Wordstock exceed. Board Chair Michelle Wasson, who is responsible for initiating conversation with Literary Arts, believes that “this acquisition allows the festival to continue to develop as a world-class event, with a deeper level of support, while becoming more efficient in terms of overhead and administrative costs.”
Since 2005, Wordstock has allowed readers and literary lovers the opportunity to explore emerging authors, small publishing companies, and independent booksellers. On Nov. 7, 2015, attendees can expect more author readings, writing contests, exhibits and a book fair in the heart of Portland’s cultural district.
— Rachael Lesley