A Bookstore With a Cause
A Bookstore With a Cause
We are more than just a book store. We are an organization dedicated to improving our community. Guide to Kulchur opened as a bookstore and literary center in 2013. At the beginning of the history of the organization, the guiding principles of the center were grounded in a mission of social entrepreneurship, shared responsibility, and community benefit. The organization originally intended to be a bookstore with a curation of political, historical, and sociological titles. This early community formation not only led to the development of a printshop and publishing project, but began to change the way that the bookstore operated. As a part of this transformation the bookstore inherited the Cleveland Books to Prisoners program, originally started as part of a community center project in 2005, and then taken over by the Cleveland Catholic Worker community upon the closing of this community center space. Taking over the administration of Books to Prisoners was a natural fit, as Guide to Kulchur intends specifically to facilitate access to literary arts for underserved communities, including the incarcerated. Projects like the correspondence of the Books to Prisoners program, organizing stock and transit for books to the prisons, and community events and engagement increasingly began to occupy more of the time and resources of the space and its staff. The bookstore continues to operate, now on a pay-what-you-can model. This physical space has become the jumping-off point for a series of programming aimed to destroy barriers between our community and the availability of media, culture, and texts. Guide to Kulchur actively engages in the work of creating pathways to provide literature to underserved communities, removing barriers to the literary arts for all community members, and assisting in the vocalization and publication of marginalized voices in the community.
Cleveland Books To Prisoners
Cleveland Books To Prisoners
The Cleveland Books to Prisoners program was originally started as part of a community center project in 2005, and then taken over by the Cleveland Catholic Worker community upon the closing of this community center space. Guide to Kulchur inherited the program in 2013, and it has been an integral part of our identity and mission since. Taking over the administration of Books to Prisoners was a natural fit, as Guide to Kulchur intends specifically to facilitate access to literary arts for underserved communities, including the incarcerated.  We are compounding the good work of Books to Prisoners by adding the Prison Media Literacy Project and the RE:Turn Project to continue serving incarcerated members of our community. We will increase diversity of offerings, decrease response time, and ensure continuous pathways to information as we expand Books to Prisoners. The Prison Media Literacy Project will build and provide programming for currently incarcerated persons, building upon the print resources of Books to Prisoners, to forward educational and artistic opportunities. The RE:Turn Project will follow up with the community of incarcerated persons we have served to use literature, models of mentorship and responsibility, and access to resources to combat recidivism for recently incarcerated persons.

Who We Are

Since opening in 2013, Guide to Kulchur has been dedicated to helping the community and helping people read. Executive Director RA Washington has helmed the project since its opening.

Guide to Kulchur Executive Board Members: Mark Schumann, Bill Kirchner, Elaine Schleiffer, Mallory Phillips, Arthur Russell, Tom Nomad, Rosa Ransom

Guide to Kulchur Advisory Board Members: Deidre McPherson, Peter Schindler, Sharon London

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Upcoming Projects

Community Tech Initiative
RE:Turn
Prison Media Literacy Project

Services

Cleveland Books 2 Prisoners
Cleveland Books 2 Prisoners is a volunteer run organization that sends free books to prisoners in Oh...
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Black Box Performance and Speaker Series
The Black Box Performance and Speaker Series curates performances, lectures and workshops from pract...
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GTK Press
Working in the tradition of independent presses since its inception, GTK Press publishes works of th...
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Cooperative Print Workshop
The Cooperative Print Workshop is a full service print shop that doubles as a community workshop for...
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