Uptown Word homepage

What We Do

Uptown Word & Arts, based in North Long Beach, California, organizes free arts events, including literary readings, creative writing workshops, art exhibits, and music performances.

Past events included readings by accomplished authors such as Alex Espinoza, Isabel Quintero, Michael Datcher, Suzanne Lummis, and Ruth Nolan, exhibits by visual artists Jose Loza, Boris Ingles, Jamil Gonzalez, and ArtExchange artists, a live DJ, an open mic, and receptions with light refreshments from local merchants. We also held a Write Inn for Women Writers where writers had a safe space to write and receive support.

We have collaborated with and held events at Uptown Business District, the North Branch Library, LBCAPS, and local small businesses such as Ricardo's Nursery. Audience members have come from the Inland Empire, Orange County, San Diego, and across L.A. County, in addition to the Long Beach community.

Our Mission is to

  • Create spaces where writers, artists, and the community of all backgrounds and ages can engage
  • Foster literacy development, a passion for literature and the arts, and creative expression
  • Feature and support authors and artists from underrepresented groups
  • Promote the North Long Beach community, including small businesses and non-profit organizations

liz gonzález, founder and director of Uptown Word & Arts, is a fourth generation Southern Californian and lives in North Long Beach. She has been active in the Southern California literary, theater, art, and music scene since 1990 and has over twenty-five years experience coordinating literary events, facilitating writing workshops, and presenting her writing at a variety of venues for audiences of different ages and backgrounds. She is a member of the Macondo Writing Workshop and teaches creative writing through the UCLA Extension Writers' Program. Her poetry, fiction, and memoirs have been published widely. She was recently honored with a 2016 Incite / Insight Award from the Arts Counil for Long Beach for her work through Uptown Word & Art. For more about liz: www.lizgonzalez.com

Contact: beneathbone
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/UptownWordArts/?fref=ts


liz gonzález was awarded an Incite / Insight Award for her work through Uptown Word & Arts

Interview: Spoken Word and Uptown Arts

Article: January Uptown Word Series Dedicated to San Bernardino

Short Video of November 2015 event: Long Beach Shorts: Uptown Word

Article: UPTOWN WORD Reading Series to Promote Literacy, Community, Art in Uptown Long Beach"

Irene Suico Soriano, poet, wrote the following about her experience when she featured at Uptown Word & Arts at Ricardo's Nursery in October 2015.

What a wonderful opportunity given to me by literary curator liz gonzález to be part of the Uptown Word [& Arts]* October in Long Beach yesterday. I'm a big fan of bringing the written | spoken word beyond the university, museums and any usual space where writers and artists are invited to "perform" and bringing art into the heart of the communities people live and move within. Such a treat to be introduced to the work and share the mic with literary gatekeepers Thomas R. Thomas, Jerry Garcia and the various participants during the open mic portion.

North Long Beach is so good about mobilizing community businesses and residents and having movers and shakers initiating projects and giving legs to community building art projects like the Uptown Word [& Arts]. It was heartwarming to see the diversity in the audience, many LB residents and small business owners coming together. I highly recommend all my LB friends to get their drought resistant plants (and fruit trees, etc.) from Ricardo's Nursery. I love that the owner Ricardo worked hard to grow this business from 8 years ago and it continues to flourish! I also appreciated his very supportive attitude towards his son, Adam's musical abilities and love for performing in front of an audience plus having a great attitude about hosting a reading in his place of business.

Event sponsors, the Uptown Business District came through providing drinking water for all attendees during a hot afternoon and recruited a local eatery in the area to donate food for the event. It truly was a community led and supported event. A wonderful experience...thanks to all who made it so!

*Updated to reflect our current name


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