by Jim Ridley
Like other arts organizations across America, Chapter 16 must bite its nails every time budget talks come around, even though it demonstrates its value week in and week out without fail. The blockbuster attendance for the Southern Festival of Books in recent years stems from many factors, but one almost certainly is Chapter 16's several weeks of lead-up reviews and interviews. The Scene gratefully passes along its book coverage as well.
Last week Renkl sent out an appeal for donations that will help Chapter16.org weather any financial storms that arise. If you love books, bookstores, authors or words — or you simply want to help hold the line for literacy in a struggling state — read her letter below.
At Chapter 16, our mission is to help readers find the books that will change their lives.
Humanities Tennessee founded Chapter 16 in 2009 as a response to the loss of local book coverage in newspapers around the state. Five days a week, we publish new content — book reviews, author interviews, feature stories, and original poems and essays — on Chapter16.org. And since newspapers are struggling in the digital economy, too, we have provided this literary bonanza without charge to local papers across the entire state as a service to the literary community of Tennessee. Our content reaches more than 490,000 potential readers each week via the website, social media, and newspaper partnerships in Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville. It's an arrangement that benefits authors, bookstores, libraries, universities, and passionate readers, and it doesn't cost any of them a single thing.
We need your help to continue this valuable service.
Since 2009, all this content has been paid for primarily by federal grants to Humanities Tennessee. But that revenue source is less reliable in the current economic climate, and our federal grants have already been cut by close to 20 percent, with more cuts likely in the 2014 budget that Congress is preparing now.
We need to find a new way to keep Chapter 16 safe in an era of declining revenue, so we are reaching out to our friends who know the value of our publication. Will you help by making a donation of your own— of whatever you can comfortably give— and by forwarding this appeal to anyone who might also help?
Chapter 16's work in bringing together writers and readers at the local level is unique, innovative, and vital to the literary life of Tennessee. Please help us protect its future.
Editor, Chapter 16
Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to Chapter 16, a program of Humanities Tennessee.