In July 2018, Stacey Kahn and Jess Martinez of Big Words Reading Series reached out to Katie Rainey and Devin Kelly of Animal Riot Reading Series about collaborating in some way to help families who were being separated on the border of the United States and Mexico. The idea was to fundraise during each respective reading for an organization that would provide assistance to these families. However, the idea snowballed into a much larger one that included inviting reading series across NYC to participate.
An organization was chosen: RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services), a nonprofit that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees in Texas.
In the end, 23 reading series and journals across New York participated in the fundraiser. We raised nearly $5,000 for RAICES and brought a lot of attention to their worthy services. You can read a full write up of this collaboration over at Lit Hub.
In light of the success of this community, we decided to come together and form an official group: Reading Series of New York. The goal of this group is to create a larger community of literary lovers working together to support, collaborate, and help the literary community grow. Watch this space for more collaborations as we grow our community.