BREW & FORGE leverages the collective power of readers and writers to alchemize collective dreaming and build capacity in community-rooted organizations on the front lines of social justice movements.
Brew & Forge emerged in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, as writers everywhere asked ourselves what we could do to support the people who would lead us into the next phase of the fight for justice: small, local organizations mobilizing their neighborhoods, schools, and communities. Held 1-2 times a year, Brew & Forge is a collective movement fundraising experiment and a throwback to the best week of elementary school.
Founded by poet Franny Choi, Brew & Forge has also expanded to include a lecture series housed at Williams College, as well as live events and other projects.
The Brew & Forge Book Fair is currently run by a steering committee including Franny, Lo Kwa Mei-En, Jessica Yuan, and Claire Schwartz, with advising from Tamiko Beyer.
THE BOOK FAIR
We've mobilized over 200 authors and 12 presses to raise over $16,000 for social justice community organizations through the semi-annual Brew & Forge Book Fair. Here's how it works:
Authors each agree to donate 1-3 signed copies of their book.
Each author votes for one of five nominated community organizations.
Donated books are posted online for 1-2 weeks for the public to purchase.
At the end of the fair, books are shipped out, and all proceeds go to the organization collectively chosen by the authors.
THE LECTURE SERIES
Housed in the English Department at Williams College, the Brew & Forge Lecture Series puts poets and political organizers in conversation to exchange perspectives and alchemize collective dreaming. The two speakers present on their work, followed by a panel in which they discuss the intersecting roles of activism and the arts in envisioning the future of social justice movements. Past speakers include poets Evie Shockley and Danez Smith, and representatives from the Pioneer Valley Workers' Center, Assata's Daughters, the Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative, and others.
A resource guide for authors to lead small-scale fundraisers supporting organizations in their local community amid the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, six authors have collectively raised >$4,000 through this simple project.
WHO WE FUND
Organizations are nominated and selected according to the following criteria:
Builds power in a community facing attack under the current US administration.
Has a relatively small operating budget or limited access to traditional funding sources.
Structure and philosophy center the voices of those most directly affected, leverage grassroots power, and utilize direct action.
Has built a strong reputation among local and national networks of organizers.