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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Humanities

Mission: The Loft advances the artistic development of writers, fosters a thriving literary community, and inspires a passion for literature.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 10,000+

Programs: Creative writing education: the loft offers creative writing classes year-round at open book, at community sites throughout minnesota, and online. In fy14, the loft served 3,046 adults and 1,293 young creative writing students in over 420 classes and workshops and three conferences representing the broadest range of genres. In the past year's evaluation, 97% of students reported that their writing improved, 96% reported a greater understanding of the writing craft, 98% agreed that the class helped them identify their next steps as a writer. Poetry out loud - a recitation competition - offered students from 49 minnesota schools the opportunity to participate in literary learning opportunities and advance to a national competition.

awards, grants, and events: the loft provides mentorships, fellowship, and grants to support writers and their work. The loft mentor series awarded intensive artistic mentorships for 12 writers of demonstrated potential to work closely with nationally renowned writers. The mcknight artist fellowships for writers granted five $25,000 awards to buy accomplished writers the time to write. The minnesota emerging writers' grant program provided project funds of $2,300-$9,000 to help advance six writers' work. The spoken word community immersion fellowship provided grants to spoken word artists of color to engage in projects within communities that inspire their work. The authors' readings and performances helped develop audiences while promoting and advancing the work of individual writers. Community gatherings engaged both readers and writers in camaraderie and celebration of the written word. In the past year, 13,000 individuals attended more than 73 loft-sponsored readings, performances, and other literary events. Broadcasts and webcasts extended the loft's reach to another 779,000 individuals.

writing community and writers services: loft. Org, the loft's website, provided regular articles and fostered discussions about the writer's life and craft through our daily blog, the writers' block. There, writers found writing excercises, literary reviews, commentary, news, and discussion. The site also includes interviews, a calendar of loft readings and events, a catalog of loft classes, and writers' resources including information about writing groups, competitions, grants, awards, publishers, and agents. Visitors perused a variety of resources in the rachel anne gaschott ritchie small press library, 81 writers made use of the loft's writers' studios and more than 50 distinct literary groups used the loft's book club room this year.

Community Stories

50 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been a member of the Loft for 15+ years. The classes I've taken have been instrumental in improving my craft, and the connections I've made with other writers have been incredible. As I prepare for the publication of my first novel, there are so many Loft members, teachers and staff to thank. It is, literally, my community.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I got help through the Loft to launch my writing career mostly in the classroom and also at public readings. I actually read a couple of times myself. While it's been a long time since I've taken a class, I support the Loft because I want it to be there for the next generation of writers. I should say that I still attend readings because they are all so good.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great classes for writers in an inspiring space! Plenty of options for all kinds of writing. I've enjoyed every class and instructor I've had.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Loft is an exceptional organization. Its classes, conferences, events, and grant opportunities sustain a vibrant writing community here in the Midwest. Writers of all ages (kids to seniors), experience (new comers to published authors), and interests (children's lit, memoir, sci-fi, non-fiction) find a home at The Loft. Twelve years ago, I signed up for my first Loft class. I learned about craft and met other aspiring authors - one of whom has become a best friend. And now, I have two books being published. Couldn't have done it without The Loft.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

There is nothing quite like the experience of stepping into The Loft. Whether you have arrived to take advantage of the charming writing studio spaces, to take a class or simply to chat with other writers in the cafe, you are immediately greeted with a welcoming and inspiring environment. In addition, the capable and friendly staff gives you the impression that they truly want you to succeed at whatever tasks your passions have inspired you to take on. The number of classes, writer groups, conferences, small groups and other opportunities that this organization offers is unparalleled in this area of the country. I only take precious time out of my life to write reviews that are worthy of that time... I am proud to take the time to speak to the heart of this particular organization and to urge others to give it their support.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have access close to home to top-notch writing classes and workshops, but my online class with the Loft is easily on par with any in-person class I have taken. Great instruction, class organization and design, feedback, and chat opportunies. Looking forward to future classes!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I joined the Loft so I could improve my writing. Even though I live three hours west of the Twin Cities, I've had the pleasure of taking two online classes, both on poetry. I had positive experiences with both my classes. One resulted in grant funding from the local arts council, and the other helped me place a poem for publication in a journal. Because of my income level, I've also received scholarships to help pay for classes. The Loft has definitely enabled me to become a contributing member of the literary community, on both the local and national levels. Thank You Loft!

Rachel149

Client Served

Rating: 5

My LOFT nature writing class was terrific! Loved the teacher

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I got out of my undergraduate program, I wanted to find a way to keep my passion for my writing alive and to find others who loved it, too. I am so lucky to have The Loft in my community. The classes are great, the people are amazing and their events are always so much fun. By attending classes, I was able to cultivate my writing and take the next step to grad school. This organization is truly awesome!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Loft is awesome. I have taken classes, attended readings, applied for grants, rented a writing studio, and have been inspired by other writers I've met there. The people who work at the Loft care about supporting writers. They care that writers produce good work. They care that American writing demonstrates the huge diversity and talent in this country and in Minnesota. And they care about serving the diverse community around them. Without a doubt, the Loft is among the most amazing non-profits in the U.S.