First Providence, then the world (or at least the rest of Rhode Island): It could be the name of a graphic novel, or it could describe the second-year ambitions of What Cheer Writers Club, a community of local writers, podcasters, and content creators.
In a little over a year, an idea that began as “Coworking for Introverts” became a thriving society of more than 300 members. The club as a physical place encompasses more than 2,500 square feet of coworking space, meeting rooms, classrooms, and a podcasting studio in downtown Providence. As a community, it spans events, workshops, professional services, publications, readings, two newsletters, and, of course, a podcast.
“We serve as a centralized community connecting content creators, fans, and literary organizations statewide,” explains co-founder and General Manager Jillian Winters. “The club’s mission is to elevate the content arts in our state by providing a space where creators can focus on projects undisturbed, and also feel supported and known within a community of fellow creatives.”
The club has galvanized a network of writers and podcasters that was legion, but disparate and unconnected. It celebrated its first anniversary in November and after a banner inaugural year, they’re thinking even bigger for 2020. That includes growing to more than 500 members, adding staff and extended hours, and expanding the club’s reach beyond its walls.
“The club’s mission is to serve content creators across Rhode Island, not just at our location in downtown Providence,” says Winters. “We plan to take programming on the road in 2020 to bring services and resources to new audiences.”
This includes, for example, partnering with Rhode Island Latino Arts and Rhode Island Black Storytellers to bring the club’s signature Podcasting 101 class to diverse communities.
“There is potential for everyone to grow and reach new audiences through cross-promotion, mutual support, sharing of resources, etc.,” says Program Manager Jodie Vinson. “What Cheer Writers Club hopes to foster this spirit of creative collaboration as we create a sustainable literary community, and, ultimately, raise the literary profile of our state.”
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