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The Writing Life: The Life of a Pop-Up

2013 July 12
Comments Off on The Writing Life: The Life of a Pop-Up

The Writing Lifepd pop upToday we present a Friday The Writing Life treat, all for your weekend literary pleasure. If you’ve got room in your weekend schedule for some literary greatness, make sure you catch one of the last events happening at the Paper Darts Pop-Up. On Sunday, Bang Bang Poetry brings twelve spoken word poets in a round-robin reading that will blow your mind, while on Saturday, local rowdy literary magazine Revolver invites you to DESK, a performance art installation featuring writers and artists attacking a desk throughout the day.

The Pop-Up, with the moniker, “A Storefront for Storytellers,” started in June with the unique vision of bringing together fledgling literary and art organizations that don’t have a permanent home space. Paper Darts generously opened their doors for many of these organizations to program their own events, within the collaborative and visually striking space curated by the PD crew. So many great organizations were involved, including Mizna, Thirty-Two Magazine, Story City, and more.

The collaborative month and half of events has added a new dimension to our local literary and art ecology, which Holly Harrison, PD Marketing Director echoes with what they’ve seen through the Pop-Up: “Just when we thought we understood the scope of the local art and lit scenes, we’ve been proven wrong. We should’ve known this already, but there’s always more to discover about the Twin Cities and its creative communities.”

This model intrigues me, as Hazel & Wren is a young literary organization without a permanent home itself. We’re constantly looking for people and organizations with a home to partner with on events. While the internet, social media, and today’s increasingly collaborative culture in general make it easy for us start-ups to pop out of the woodwork, it’s also limiting in that we don’t have the monetary base to have an office to work from. Hence the PD team’s collaborative venture. Here’s hoping it transforms into a collaborative model that can sustain itself permanently!

Apparently, I’m not the only one to think so: “The Pop-Up store has been a huge, HUGE success.  The patronage of the arts in the Cities is absolutely incredible. I think we need a space like Paper Dart’s Pop-Up full-time. The great turn-outs are proof that a mixed media venue could flourish,” says Ross Nervig, the editor from Revolver who came up with DESK. “The ladies of Paper Darts deserve all their success.” We’re agreed there, Ross.

Don’t fret if you’ve missed the last month or so of events: you still have (a little) time to experience the Pop-Up in all its glory. Get over there for DESK, in which ten artists and writers get an hour each to attack a desk starting at 9:00 am on Saturday. As more of a performance installation, the event embodies, in its own way, the founding principals of the Pop-Up: collaboration, and the blurring of boundaries between the arts and literature.

As today’s culture, especially within the arts, grows increasingly collaborative, events like this are becoming more and more common. “We’re drawn to the interdisciplinary events because where there’s friction there can be a spark. We chase that spark,” says Nervig.

Revolver created a brand for themselves with events that don’t fall within the standard literary magazine shindig. Rather, their first launch party pitted some of our local favorite hipster artists and writers in a boxing ring, and they’ve since produced other events with a similar vibe. Why are they drawn to this type of event? As Nervig puts it, “Simply, we want to put on events that we’d like to attend. Like, what if we mash a banging house party with an art opening?” So far, it’s proven to be a successful equation.

Get over to the Paper Darts Pop-Up this weekend to experience DESK and the space itself before it leaves (although hopefully to be re-birthed somewhere down the road)!

Have you gone to any of the Paper Darts Pop-Up or Revolver events thus far? If so, what were your highlights? How do you think collaboration is changing the literary and/or arts scene locally?