Third Street Writers Awarded Grant from the Festival of Arts Foundation

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Participants in the 2022 Art Inscribed project held a public reading and celebration at the Festival Of Arts grounds. The popular books sold out during the event, requiring a second printing. This year’s public reading will be held on Aug. 27, again at the Festival grounds. Photo/Third Street Writers

Third Street Writers has been awarded a Festival of Arts Foundation grant for its upcoming writing project, “Art Inscribed: Writing Inspired by the 2023 FOA Fine Art Show.”

It is the second year the nonprofit literary group will produce a publication inspired by art displayed at the festival. 

The first edition was honored as Best Arts Collaboration by the Laguna Beach Arts Alliance at its Art Stars Awards ceremony in April. 

“We are thrilled to be able to once again partner with Festival artists and the Artists Fund,” Third Street President Amy Dechary said. “The project is the result of our longtime desire to bridge the visual and literary arts in Laguna Beach, and we are so grateful for the FOA Foundation’s continued support.” 

The FOA Foundation, which operates independently from the Festival of Arts, awards annual grants to local nonprofit arts organizations. The Festival of Arts and the Foundation have awarded nearly $3 million in grants to the Laguna Beach art community. 

Partnering with artists exhibiting at this summer’s festival, Third Street members will view fine art pieces at the FOA and write short stories, essays and poetry inspired by those works. Selected works will be published in a soft-covered book and featured at a public reading and celebration at the festival grounds on Aug. 27, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. All proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the Artist Fund’s Benevolence Fund. Last summer, Third Street donated $1,175 in profits to the fund. 

“The Artist Fund was thrilled to receive the donation from this wonderfully creative collaboration, and we are excited to see the program return in force this summer,” said Wendy Wirth, president of the Artists Fund. “Last season’s event was engaging on so many levels – from the artist whose work was the inspiration, to the writer exploring their imagination and writing skills, and finally to the audience that was enthralled by their written and spoken-word creations. It was a truly adventurous program.” 

Third Street’s mission is to promote writing and the literary arts in Laguna Beach and beyond, and this partnership with the festival was a natural fit.  

“Our members have always been inspired by art,” said Rina Palumbo, vice president of Third Street Writers. “In Laguna, we are surrounded by amazing artistic creations, so this is a remarkable opportunity to connect with visual artists and honor their work with our own.”

Third Street kicked off this year’s exploration of art-inspired writing, also known as ekphrastic writing, in May. The group visited the “Fresh Faces” exhibit at the foaSOUTH gallery, which features work by first-time Festival exhibitors. The writers then participated in an ekphrastic workshop led by Laguna Beach artist and Third Street board members Jennifer Griffiths and Dechary. 

 “A writer’s intuitive response to visual art adds another dimension to further both their understanding of a work of art and expands their literary vocabulary,” Griffiths said. “It also creates a new connection between the visual artist and the writer … this partnership with the FOA is a win for all involved, ultimately creating a new community. ” 

More information about Third Street Writers can be found at https://www.thirdstreetwriters.org/ or by contacting Amy Dechary at [email protected]

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