WHAT'S BEHIND THE NAME
The South is a place rich in storytelling and literary traditions: traditions that crisscross cultural and ethnic lines; traditions that fuse rhythm and harmony with turn of phrase and story; traditions that honor and cherish the past while keeping an eye firmly on the future. And what one location could be more central to our shared history of story and song than that most Southern of gathering places--the porch?
Front, back, screened, however you picture it—the porch is a place where family and friends, old and new, come together to enjoy conversation, story, song. The porch is where you deepen relationships and build new memories. But you can also steal precious quiet minutes and hours with books, journals, a sketchbook or guitar. Porches are for togetherness and solitude in equal measure, for the sharing of stories between speakers and listeners, between writers and readers. Surprising collaborations happen on porches—one porch-sitter’s story becomes another’s song, ideas are gathered and shared. The charms and challenges of the natural world are never far from the porch.
You can see where we’re coming from, here—and where we’re going. The idea of a Southern porch deeply informs our mission and our desire to bring together readers, writers, and artists of all stripes; to nourish a literary culture in our city; and to provide our youth with opportunities for creative expression that will strengthen their literacy skills and prepare them for success as citizens of their communities.
As Nashville blooms into an exciting new era, we’re eager to see the art of writing and the community of its creators, supporters, and admirers grow in partnership with the city’s flourishing visual and performing arts cultures.
So, what does that mean?
That means offering Nashvillians and Middle Tennesseans exciting, accessible opportunities to create as well as consume – to tell their stories, craft their own narratives, learn with and from mentors, and collaborate with other artists.
That means giving our city’s youth access to those same opportunities for creative expression—and in the process instilling in them the confidence and life skills that come with crafting a vision of one’s world with words.
That means creating a space where all members of the Nashville community can come together to experience the power of the written word and share resources.
That means doing all of these things in an effort to nourish a thriving, progressive literary culture worthy of our world-class city.
WHAT WE DO
The Porch currently offers:
• Writing workshops for adults taught by highly-qualified writing instructors in a range of genres, topics, and levels, for beginners and dabblers to professionals and everyone in between.
• Free monthly writing workshops for teens. See SLANT website for more information.
• Unique literary events, including readings, panels, socials, and other collaborations with other Nashville organizations and artists.
• Fall and Spring weekend writing retreats at Rivendell Writers’ Colony.
• Outreach programs in partnership with other nonprofit organizations, including Nashville Public Library, Oasis Center, Martha O’ Bryan Center, and others.
• Expressive Writing Workshops for New Americans.
Plans for the future include:
• A resource space for readers and writers, stocked with books and magazines related to the craft of writing; a collection of locally made, handbound journals, notebooks, and other writing-life swag; and good coffee, maybe even a few treats.
• Quiet, comfortable workspace available for weekly or monthly rent by writers or anyone who needs a place to plug in, buckle down, and get ‘er done.