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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Loft, Inc.

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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

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

Kris14

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Loft Literary Center has been a cornerstone of the vibrant literary community in the Twin Cities for many years. They offer classes on a sliding fee scale that serve writers of every age and experience level, they sponsor readings and events that feature local, national, and international writers of all genres, aesthetics, and backgrounds. They also sponsor grants for writers, and their groundbreaking Mentor Series, which pairs emerging writers with established writers for intensive study. I have attended and presented at conferences sponsored by the Loft, readings held at the Loft, and meetings of literary community leaders hosted at The Loft. Its mission, staff, and space are unrivaled anywhere in the Midwest.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Minnesota winters may be long but we have the Loft. On the sometimes thorny journey into publication, the Loft has aided me every step of the way -- I've taken classes and workshops, attended a conference, held a book reading, learned about funding opportunities from their newsletter, attended book events... If I lived a bit closer than I do, I'd be at the Loft every day!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Loft is one of my artistic homes. It's where I first took a poetry class that would eventually lead me to graduate school and an MFA. It's where I've been able to work with outstanding mentors from here in Minnesota and around the country. It's where I've been able to listen to gorgeous, potent, and alive readings by writers from all walks of life. It's an invaluable community resource that brings together both published and emerging writers, young and mature. The Loft is a local and national treasure.