This morning I got a message from my pal Tanner Curl at the Loft Literary Center, where I am a sustaining member, to please put the word out to my friends and readers about coming on board with a sustaining membership of their own. He writes:
We’re nearing the end of our budget year (Aug 31, to be exact) and want to end on a high note in terms of member giving. As a Sustaining Member, you’re already doing your part with your monthly contributions! Thanks for your support!
But perhaps you have friends who might be inclined to join themselves. Will you help us spread the word about the Loft and how member support makes our work possible?
Yes, Tanner, I’d be delighted.
First of all, it doesn’t take much to be a sustaining member (and then you get all this Loft-love and emails from Tanner, too). Seriously, the significance of a sustaining membership of any kind (and I mean, any kind, any amount, literally) is it’s money the Loft can count on. Sure, a donation when you think of it/a windfall allows is great, but it’s a one-time deal. The Loft will put it to good use and thank you profusely, I guarantee. But anything you pledge as an ongoing contribution is money they can use when they’re looking ahead, as in, what can we try next? How can we reach every person in our community? If this is important to you, consider joining as a sustaining member.
Have you taken a class at the Loft? Absolutely, that’s one way to support this amazing resource of ours here in Minneapolis. How about participating in any of their programs? For me, that would include about a million readings and events (the last one with Lidia Yuknavitch and Ben Percy was about as phenomenal as you might imagine), mentorship, the MN Emerging Writer grant, to name just a few. If you’ve benefitted from these or any other activities sponsored by the Loft, I would just ask that you not take them for granted. Other cities marvel at what we have here, in these multiple and ongoing literary opportunities. If any of these are important to you, I would encourage you to join as a sustaining member.
And if you, personally, haven’t benefitted? I’ve got two answers to that:
- Why not? I was a 40-something wannabe writer with a dream. Now I’ve got a citation in Best American Short Stories 2015, a few Pushcart Prize nominations and I’m a staff writer for local media company. I will tell you this: none of it would have been possible without the Loft. NONE. If you’ve got a writing dream, email me/message me/comment here/find me. USE THIS RESOURCE. Make your dream come true. Take a class. Go to an event. Apply for a program or a grant. Become a member of this unique and supportive community.
- Maybe you’re not a wannabe. Maybe you’re a “BE.” Good for you. Now share the love. Help other people tell their stories. We need this, especially now. See my Loft writing friend Kurtis Scaletta’s amazing post on just this topic here.
The truth for me is this: I think some 50% of my satisfaction about living here in Minneapolis is because of the Loft. I’m guessing it’s not the same for you–we all have our unique geekiness. But what is your Loft love? 10%? 20%? Do you love living here in part because of the Loft Literary Center, because of the opportunities it provides, the forums it imparts, the speakers and readers and writers it gives a voice?
Let’s keep the Loft alive and vibrant and meaningful. Please, seriously consider a sustaining membership today.