Minutes of Kelly Writers House Planning Committee Meeting

Tuesday, April 6th, 1998

by Nate Chinen

We begin with a sort of "State of the House" address by Kerry, touching upon issues of funding, and the role of the House within the University. The House has obviously proven itself as a valuable and productive community here, so there's no question about whether the U. will continue to support us. The question, rather, is whether we will continue to enjoy the level of funding for our programming and operating budget. We've been talking about the possibility of an endowment, which would require "at least a couple million dollars." Whitney has been researching potential funders, and Al & Kerry have been going up for fundraising in New York, "to meet rich people."

In another related note, three undergraduate students have applied for work-study jobs for the fall. We're taking applications, so notify anyone who might be interested.

We decide to hold an end-of-the-year party, exclusive to Planning Committee members, sometime during the first week of May (preferably later in the week, like the 6th or 7th).

We're also doing a "graduation party" for our seniors: Dave, Luke, Josh, Alyssa, Nate.

Here's a list of upcoming ongoing and potential projects:

1. Amy Johnson of Barnes & Noble wants to work with us on programming for the new University City bookstore. Dave Deifer suggests that we request a proposal from them, which we can deal with on a case by case basis. This idea is generally accepted.

Kerry makes the point that "Penn Development loves the House just as it is," and we don't have to worry about staying on their good side.

2. The Penn Reading Project would like to use the House as a space for discussion. No objections.

3. Van Pelt Library is celebrating their 250-year anniversary next fall, and wants us to get involved. Louis asks whether they would be willing to buy books. Al mentions that Dan Traister might be open to that idea.

4. The Penn Women's Center will be celebrating the 25th-year anniversary of Women's Studies. Our level of involvement could include co-sponsorship, offering space, a group reading, student readers, or a thematically-related visiting writer/critic/etc. Kerry likes the idea, and everyone agrees that it would behoove us to do something.

5. Dan Rose is coming for free, sponsored by Rebekah Grossman. We've already approved it.

6. Big discussion on Bob Lucid's Spanish Civil War symposium. We have been talking about bringing Heavyweight Poet of the World Victor Hernandez Cruz; he's anthologized in the Norton PoMo, and Teresa says he's a very charismatic and strong reader. But he wants $1500, plus travel & hotel accomodations. Kerry quips: "Jesus wouldn't even get that here." We would need co-sponsorship, and it would still be expensive. We decide that it would probably be easier to find someone with less demands. We discuss the possibility of tying the symposium to a PhillyTalks event, or a Live (the dates are Sept. 17-19). Louis suggests Rodrigo Tuscano. We casually mention a few possible names: Carolyn Forche, Elliot Weinberger, Elizabeth Young-Bruehl, Christina Pocci, Tony Lopez.

7. And speaking of Tony Lopez, Bob Perelman suggested we bring him as a CW guest.

8. Carolyn Jacobson recommends Heather McHugh. She'll do the phone work and get back to us on this.

9. Vance asks whether we can reestablish "Theorizing in Particulars." Unanimous support for an approximate semester budget of $600. Al tells Vance to check out the possibility of getting a grant from the Penna. Council for Humanities or NEA.

10. Louis' idea, which involves a sort of extension of the PhillyTalks series into a 1.5 year intensive and wide-reaching project. We discuss the logistics of this idea - Al is initially wary that it could be a "jumble," slightly incoherent. However, Louis clarifies his position - he intends to enlist the help of people with existing projects. Kerry suggests a "board" in which work would be delegated in an organized fashion, and would have more say in what happens.

Louis' posts to the hub

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