RA Washington, the West Side's marginalized-lit laureate, is expanding his small Guide to Kulchur bookshop and zine-making house to a larger storefront in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood.
He's moving from his current location on W. 65th street, in the shadow of the Capitol Theatre's marquee, to a property at 5900 Detroit, roughly equidistant from the Happy Dog and Cleveland Public Theatre. He plans to officially open on Sep. 4.
Washington's goal is to hire six people off the bat (with a goal of 20 total employees down the road), paid at a living wage, who will help with the operation of the store and the newly founded GTK press. Washington has secured modest funding from both JumpStart and an IndieGoGo campaign, but is still seeking a few thousand bucks to reach his financing goals.
According to Freshwater Cleveland
, the new space will feature "more of what Gordon Square loves about GTK and then some," with not only more books for sale and perusal, but a performance space and outdoor seating as well. Expect snacks and coffee from local proprietors to be on hand.
Washington will retain his old space, intending to use it as a warehouse and distribution center for his Books to Prisoners program. (He is committed to hiring formerly incarcerated people down the road, he says).
Washington worked with development corporations on the Near West Side to find this new space, but told Scene
back in July that there were limited options. He said he tried to make the case that "the social impact of our work at GTK is essential to building a true arts district.