WRITE NYC, a public writing room for the streets

WRITE NYC is a public writing room for the streets, stocked with supplies, typewriters, and other tools and materials for writing. Designed for New Yorkers of all ages and always free, elements include:

  • various analog writing implements, including typewriters and calligraphy brushes, along with supplies such as envelopes and stationery;
  • a pop-up “post office” where people can write postcards or letters, with free stamps in low-income locations;
  • a collection of handwritten letters and other writing on display, including those contributed at previous locations;
  • printed cards with activities conceived by writers and writing organizations;
  • custom-designed tables that connect into one striking physical installation, with eight benches for seating; 
  • staff to set up and run the program (one program staff member and one manager);
  • teaching artists at most deployments;
  • an option for hosts or other organizations to participate by adding one-on-one sessions, read-alouds, and other special activities.

Here’s what happens: writing becomes a way to connect with others, near and far. People are drawn to the typewriters and typewriting becomes a group activity, with older people as guides. Some handwrite postcards and poems, or contribute to a communal story, thus glimpsing the inner lives and creative efforts of fellow New Yorkers. We piloted the program at Chelsea Market in 2019, and it is now ready for the streets.

This program has been developed in partnership with Therese Cox, a Ph.D. Candidate in English & Comparative Literature and Heyman Center Public Humanities Fellow at Columbia University.

 

Help us reach neighborhoods!

WRITE NYC will travel across New York City with a special focus on underserved neighborhoods where art and education resources can be scarce. Your donation can help us share these great materials in all neighborhoods of New York City.

Founding Sponsors:

Lisa Brown
& Daniel Handler

Become a sponsor!

 

Blog posts about WRITE NYC:

Highlights from DRAW and WRITE at Chelsea Market in 2019

Highlights from DRAW and WRITE at Chelsea Market in 2019

Here are highlights from a three-month residency of DRAW and a month-long residency of WRITE at Chelsea Market. DRAW is a portable art studio that travels the city and lets New Yorkers draw together. WRITE is a new program that lets New Yorkers write, type, scrawl a...

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WRITE wraps up a month-long residency at Chelsea Market

WRITE wraps up a month-long residency at Chelsea Market

After a bustling, month-long residency at Chelsea Market, our WRITE program served a few last patrons before heading out onto the streets for the rest of summer. WRITE is being developed with Therese Cox, a Heyman Center Public Humanities Fellow at Columbia...

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WRITE together in Chelsea Market

WRITE together in Chelsea Market

Our newest program WRITE continues a month-long residency at Chelsea Market—join us every Sunday from 11am-2pm! WRITE is being developed with Therese Cox, a Heyman Center Public Humanities Fellow at Columbia University. Thanks to our host Chelsea Market. [ngg...

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Testing a new program for the street WRITE

Testing a new program for the street WRITE

READ, DRAW, BUILD are a few of the programs we've put on the street since 2011—each one based around a simple activity that New Yorkers can do together in public space. In 2019 we're launching WRITE, and we offered a taste to folks in Chelsea Market on Sunday. People...

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We're getting a "new" name... Street Lab.

The Uni Project is the work of Street Lab, a nonprofit launched in 2006 in Boston, where we created community-oriented programs for public space. In 2011, we migrated Street Lab to New York City and launched the Uni Project. The Uni began as a single, portable reading room and has since grown into a city-wide initiative offering more than 700 days of pop-up programming in 150+ public spaces across the city. In 2019, we are re-introducing our original name Street Lab to tie all this work together going forward, with much more to come.

For now, details about our programs are available here on the Uni Project web site. Soon, that content will move to www.streetlab.org. Thanks for sticking with us!