Langston Hughes' Harlem brownstone might not remain unoccupied for long, with the launch of Renée Watson's I, Too, Arts Collective. The non-profit organization wants to restore and preserve the empty building, and to use it as a salon "for emerging and established [poets and] artists in Harlem to create, connect, and showcase work." The I, Too, Arts Collective has a Generosity page set up to crowdfund the restoration of Hughes' Harlem home.
Renée Watson is the author of several books for children and young adults, including This Side of Home, Harlem's Little Blackbird, and What Momma Left Me. She is on the National Writing Project Writers Council, alongside Isabel Allende, Yiyun Li, and Joy Harjo, among others, and is also a team member at We Need Diverse Books.
Watson opens her Generosity campaign by saying:
For the past ten years, I've walked past the brownstone where Langston Hughes lived and wondered why it was empty. How could it be that his home wasn't preserved as a space for poets, a space to honor his legacy? I'd pass the brownstone, shake my head, and say, "Someone should do something." I have stopped saying, "Someone should do something" and decided that someone is me.
In the first three days, Watson's non-profit organization has raised $7,250 of its $150,000 goal. Donor perks include social media shout-outs, signed books, and author visits. If restoring Langston Hughes' Harlem brownstone is a cause you can get behind, contribute to the I, Too, Arts Collective crowdfunding project on Generosity. Share information on the I, Too, Arts Collective using the #LangstonsLegacy hashtag on Twitter.
Images: Wikimedia Commons