Did you know East Harlem doesn’t have an independently owned bookstore? It’s hard to believe the neighborhood that nurtured writers such as Piri Thomas (Down These Mean Streets) and Nicholasa Mohr (Nilda) doesn’t have a bookstore to support current and future generations of writers.
Aurora Anaya-Cerda is looking to change that by opening a brick-and-mortar store in East Harlem. Aurora is the owner of La Casa Azul, an online bookstore. An anonymous benefactor has offered to match up to $40,000 in donations raised through October 24, 2011. So every donated dollar translates into two dollars that will help open a Latina-owned, independent bookstore.
Open a bookstore and you educate a community. Help educate the community of East Harlem and beyond by donating to Aurora’s 40K in 40 Days campaign and/or by sharing this information widely. To donate, and for more details, please visit: http://www.indiegogo.com/lacasaazulbookstorenyc
From Aurora Anaya-Cerda:
Dear La Casa Azul Bookstore friends and family,
It is with great excitement and anticipation that I announce the ‘40K in 40 days’ campaign to open La Casa Azul Bookstore in East Harlem! Every dollar you give to the ‘40K in 40 days’campaign will have twice the impact! That’s because until October 24, 2011 a generous donor will match, dollar for dollar, every donation we receive – up to a total of $40,000.
Since 2001 I have worked and volunteered in 5 bookstores, taken countless business classes, attended book-selling school (twice), and travelled the country meeting with booksellers, studying the diverse business models. I have also established relationships with publishers and authors nationwide.
I have operated the La Casa Azul as an online store since 2008. Since then I have hosted over 60 events (book signings, readings, book clubs) in local cultural institutions, schools and cafés. I founded the Barrio Book Club and established the annual East Harlem Children’s Book Festival.
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The ‘40K in 40 days’ campaign will secure the funding necessary to open La Casa Azul Bookstore as a real, physical, retail space! Using the concept of placemaking, La Casa Azul Bookstore aims to create a business that is much more than your average retail store by offering book clubs, author signings, story time for children and a community meeting space. La Casa Azul Bookstore will sell new & used books, coffee, pastries, art, clothing and locally-made cards and gifts. A fresh stock of books by local and Latino writers will help solidify our niche as a purveyor of authors of local and regional interest. La Casa Azul Bookstore will cross-promote with local businesses to highlight the importance of sustainability & buying locally. We will continue to work with area schools and nonprofits to promote literacy in the East Harlem community.
Be a part of the Founder’s Circle:
The money raised in the ‘40K in 40 days’ campaign will guarantee a MATCHING investment from a generous donor. You give a dollar – the donor gives a dollar. Just like that, the impact of your contribution is immediately doubled! Your contribution to the ‘40K in 40 days’ campaign automatically makes you a member of the Founder’s Circle and your name is added to the donor wall. In addition, there are perks for the different contribution levels, plus the satisfaction of knowing you participated in the opening of independent bookstore in El Barrio!
The money raised will be used to purchase inventory, bookshelves, fixtures, café equipment and pay for permits. Most importantly, it will secure the deposit on a retail space and allow for La Casa Azul Bookstore to open its doors in 2012.
Sounds exciting, right? It is! But, again, I need your help to get this project off the ground.
Bookstores are a crucial part of a community’s cultural, educational and social character. Help me establish La Casa Azul Bookstore in East Harlem to continue connecting people, books, and the ideas they bring together. I can’t do this work without you.
40K in 40 days campaign information:
Indiegogo campaign link:www.indiegogo.com/lacasaazulbookstorenyc