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Expanded Mission, New Home for Center for Creative Writing

Expanded Mission, New Home for Center for Creative Writing
The Frostburg Center for Creative Writing will soon be on the move from its campus location to the center of downtown Frostburg, where it will occupy the last open space in the Lyric Building, 20-22 E. Main St., and take on a key role in the new Frostburg Arts & Entertainment District.
And with the move comes an expanded mission focusing on community outreach; new programs for writers, readers and lovers of the literary arts; and a space for writing and reading.
“We want people to come in, to have their imaginations inspired,” says Center Director Gerry LaFemina.
The Center will begin hosting a writer’s group twice a month, and monthly book groups in poetry, science fiction, and novel-and-film are in the works. Weekly dedicated writing time will be available where the public is invited in to write, away from the distractions of home, and with writing prompts available to help break writer’s block. The Center will also partner with libraries, schools, and other community organizations to coordinate youth writing workshops and projects for veterans and seniors.
The goal, LaFemina says, is to give voice to people in the community who may not feel as if their voices are heard, and to allow for the culture and history of this place to survive and thrive.
“I want to get people to stop thinking that poetry – that literature – doesn’t concern them, that it’s above them,” he says. “People write about their lives. Literature helps us be human; writing helps us understand the world. I want to invite people into their voices.”
The new facilities include office space; a community area for reading, writing, book groups and other activities; a living literary arts display; a literary arts resource library; and space for visual arts.
A $10,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission was key to the Center’s move and affirmation that the arts can help revitalize a downtown community.
“It makes me feel not just part of university life, but part of Frostburg’s life,” LaFemina says. “We already co-host events at (downtown) places like Dante’s and Mountain City Coffee & Creamery. And, of course, we work a great deal with Main Street Books. Now, we’re just expanding our presence here.”
The historic Lyric Building, a former theatre located in the center of town, was devastated by fire in 2004. Since its renovation, it has become home to the FSU Foundation and University Advancement; the Bobcat Store, a branch of the FSU bookstore selling FSU-branded items; a community gathering and entertainment space in the former theatre; and a number of apartments. The Center for Creative Writing will fill the final opening.
Visit the Center Web site at www.frostburg.edu/cwcenter for hours and programming, or call 301-687-4024.

   
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