Supporting Individual Artists: Literary Artist Edition

Recorded On: 09/25/2019

imageAbout this Webinar

Throughout the Maryland region, CityLit Project creates enthusiasm for the literary arts by connecting a community of avid readers and writers, creating opportunities for diverse audiences and by crafting experiences. Events produced throughout the year are designed to advance the cause of empowering language and writing skills in light of a changing publishing industry, and advancing and amplifying voices of people of color, as well as those not necessarily affiliated with a learning institution. 

Join Carla Du Pree, an author of fiction and the executive director of CityLit Project, to learn how to navigate methods of support within cultural institutions and beyond. This webinar is designed to suggest the many ways an independent artist can engage with a larger literary community, seek resources that will advance their work and partake in opportunities that are within and outside of the region. It is also for organizations looking for ways to broaden their scope where it concerns writers, and to extend opportunities to support writers in their direct and regional communities in a myriad of ways. Carla will be joined by two working literary artists, applauded for their meaningful work, who will discuss their roles within their affiliated organizations, and the support systems they have in place and have generated over the years for their own work. Novelists Andrew Simonet, founder of Artists U and Christina Chiu, curator and co-host of Pen Parentis Literary Salon share their insights and collective wisdoms from living as artists helping artists. The outcome will be to enrich the concept of support specifically designed for writers while providing new ways to connect with the larger literary community, and to broaden the number of resources both regional and national for supporting the professional development of writers.

Participants will learn

  • How literary artists can increase their efforts in designing a creative life for themselves and look for various pathways outside the norm.
  • To create ways for literary artists to thrive in a creative way of being, even when they’re not actively engaged in the act of writing.
  • How to build a stronger, writing network
  • How to engage literary artists in their work, to take risks, and to apply and submit.

This Arts Administrators Essentials: Supporting Individual Artists project is supported in part by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.


CityLit Project is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, the Maryland State Arts Council, Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, T. Rowe Price, William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, Maryland Humanities, and Insight 180.

Carla Du Pree

Author, Executive Director, CityLit Project

Carla Du Pree is a literary artist and consultant, a national and state arts ambassador, and an advocate for the arts. She’s featured regional and transnational authors at festivals and workshops and has produced award-winning programs: the daylong CityLit Festival and HoCoPoLitSo’s The Writing Life. Her literary work appeared on the debut of “Words” on Maryland Public Television’s Artworks. Her short stories and excerpts from her novel have appeared in The Pierian Literary Journal, Callaloo, Potomac Review, a Special Fiction and Poetry edition of City Paper - Baltimore, and anthologies The Spirit of Pregnancy and Street Lights: Illuminating Tales of the Urban Black Experience. She was also a contributor of Women in Clothes.

She’s the recipient of a Rubys Artist Award, a Maryland State Arts Council Award for fiction, and fellowships with the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Rhode Island Writers Colony for writers of color and the prestigious Hedgebrook, along with Whiting and Poetry Foundation fellowships for Facing It: The Poetry of Yusef Komunyakaa and The Living Truth: The Life and Work of Nikki Giovanni, for her novel in progress. She’s written and produced two plays, served on the One Maryland One Book Selection Committee, as a county/state judge for the National Endowment for the Arts’ (NEA) Poetry Out Loud competition, and on the NEA’s Big Read Committee.

With a Masters from the Johns Hopkins University - Writing Seminars, she’s a former adjunct professor, active on four boards, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Maryland State Arts Council, Maryland Citizens for the Arts, and Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. She serves as an advisor with Modell Lyric Education Advisory Council, Baltimore Cultural Alliance Network, Arts Administrators of Color - DMV, mentors regional poets and writers, and most recently joined NASAA’s People of Color Affinity Group.


Twitter: @citylitproject and @darkndifferent

Instagram: @citylitproject and @darkndifferent

Andrew Simonet

Founder, Artists U

Andrew Simonet is writer and choreographer in Philadelphia. From 1993 to 2013, he co-directed Headlong Dance Theater, creating dances like CELL (a journey for one audience member guided by your cell phone), and This Town is a Mystery (dances by four Philadelphia families in their homes). In 2013, he left Headlong to focus on writing. His debut novel, Wilder, was published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in 2018.

In 2006, Andrew founded Artists U, an incubator for helping artists make sustainable lives with programs in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and South Carolina. He wrote Making Your Life as an Artist, an open source guide to living as an artist. He is on the leadership team for the Tremaine Foundation’s Artists Thrive initiative, the Artist Parent Residencies Working Group, and Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program.

He has received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, an Independence Fellowship in the Arts, a Bessie for Choreography at the New York Dance and Performance Awards, and residencies at Yaddo, Ucross, The Studios of Key West, and Hambidge. His performance work has been supported by The Creative Capital Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Pew Trusts, Rockefeller Foundation, Japan Foundation, and New England Foundation for the Arts, and produced by Dance Theater Workshop (NYC), The Kyoto Art Center, P.S. 122 (NYC), Central Park Summerstage, The Jade Festival (Tokyo), The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. He lives in West Philadelphia with his wife, theater director K. Elizabeth Stevens, and their sons Jesse Tiger and Nico Wolf.

Website: and

Twitter: @andrewSimonet

Christine Chiu

Curator and Co-Host, Pen Parentis Literary Salon

Christina Chiu is the winner of the James Alan McPherson Award. Her novel, Beauty, is available for pre-order, with a publication date of May 2020. She is also author of Troublemaker and Other Saints, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in 2001, Troublemaker was the alternate selection for BOMC and QPB, a nominee for a BOMC First Fiction Award, and winner of the Asian American Literary Award. 

Chiu has published in magazines and anthologies, including Tin House, Charlie Chan is Dead 2, Not the Only One, Washington Square, World Wide Writers, The MacGuffin, the Asian Pacific American Journal, Acorn, Grandmothers: Granddaughters Remember, and Not the Only One. Her stories have won awards and honorable mention in literary contests such as Playboy, Glimmer Train, New Millennium, New York Stories, World Wide Writers, Explorations, and El Dorado Writers’ Guild.

The recipient of the Asian American Literary Award, Chiu also received the Robert Simpson Fellowship, the Alternate Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, the Van Lier Fellowship; she won the New Stone Circle Fiction Contest, won second place in the Playboy Fiction Contest, and was nominated for the Stephen Crane First Fiction Award. She has been a Wiepersdorf Fellow and a Claire Woolrich Scholar. 

Chiu curates and co-hosts the Pen Parentis Literary Salons in New York City. She received her MFA in writing from Columbia University.

Website: and

Twitter: @chrischiu13


Supporting Individual Artists: Literary Artist Edition Recorded
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