Local Agencies Share $50K Grant From Literary Alliance

Members of the Pasadena Literary Alliance’s Open Book Series committee include Julie Daniels (front row, from left), Teresa Payton, Liz White, Shelley Thompson and Carmie Rodriguez. Back: Katie Poole, Kathleen Waller, Peggy Gregerson, Jennifer Bigelow, Sarah Hunter, Emily Vitan and Georgia Jeffries.
Photos courtesy Pasadena Literary Alliance
Members of the Pasadena Literary Alliance’s Open Book Series committee include Julie Daniels (front row, from left), Teresa Payton, Liz White, Shelley Thompson and Carmie Rodriguez. Back: Katie Poole, Kathleen Waller, Peggy Gregerson, Jennifer Bigelow, Sarah Hunter, Emily Vitan and Georgia Jeffries.

Celebrating its mission to support literary programs, the Pasadena Literary Alliance recently announced $50,000 in grants awarded in keeping with its mission of supporting literary programs.
The group awarded one $10,000 grant each to Pasadena City College (for writers in residence and its summer creative writing academy), Pasadena Senior Center (for its Masters Series lifelong learning program), Pasadena Public Library (for its One City, One Story program), PEN America (for its Emerging Voices Fellowship stipend) and WriteGirl (for its high school student writing seminars).
According to Katie Poole, the PLA board chair, this year’s grant awards bring the organization’s cumulative grant total to $350,000.
“The grant makes it possible to offer interesting speakers in the Masters-in-Learning Series, which attracts new members to our community, reduces social isolation and creates an intellectually stimulating environment,” said Akila Gibbs, the senior center’s executive director.
“For the last seven years the grant has allowed us to build and grow our Writer in Residence program, as well as to establish a Visiting Writers Series and the PCC Summer Creative Writing Academy,” said Manny Perea, a PCC instructor.

Literary Alliance board chair Katie Poole (right) delivers a $10,000 check to Pasadena Senior Center Executive Director Akila Gibbs.
Literary Alliance board chair Katie Poole (right) delivers a $10,000 check to Pasadena Senior Center Executive Director Akila Gibbs.

“When students are able to meet and learn from local authors, as they do through these programs, they are inspired and influenced by the interaction. The value of the experience for all who participate is immeasurable.”
PLA formed in 2015 as an independent all-volunteer nonprofit organization. In 2017, to meet demand, PLA established the Open Book Series, a year-round literary salon that provides opportunities for the community to enjoy authors of all kinds — both established and emerging, national and local, men and women, writers of fiction and nonfiction — in settings that complement the author’s work or background and allow for engagement with the attendees.
Open Book launched in 2017 with Amor Towles, author of “Gentleman in Moscow.” At the first two seasons of Open Book, audiences have enjoyed meeting and interacting with their favorite authors in unusual venues that match the book settings. Favorites this year were the Mountain View Mausoleum in Altadena and the Sierra Madre Playhouse.
New this season, sponsorships are available for each individual Open Book event.
PLA also is affiliated with the Pasadena Festival of Women Authors, which was first held at the Senior Center in 2009.
For more information, visit pasadenaliteraryalliance.org.

John Horn and author Leif Enger
John Horn and author Leif Enger
Open Book interviewer John Horn, Open Book co-chair Emily Vitan and PLA board chair Katie Poole
Open Book interviewer John Horn, Open Book co-chair Emily Vitan and PLA board chair Katie Poole
Literary Alliance program chairs Julie Daniels, Emily Vitan and Norah Morley
Literary Alliance program chairs Julie Daniels, Emily Vitan and Norah Morley

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