WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Immigration reform advocate and United States Congressman Luis Gutierrez will be the headlining panelist at the first ever Uptown Lit festival in October.
Gutierrez will discuss immigration's rights along with his memoir: "Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill," as part of a day-long list of panels for the literary festival, held on Oct. 19 at the United Palace of Cultural Arts and Word Up Community Bookshop. In addition to the panels, the festival will feature poetry readings and book discussions. Several of the events will focus on immigration issues.
The festival, pulled together by a slew of uptown organizations that includes Word Up, the UPCA and the Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art and Storytelling, a day-long celebration of the written word in Northern Manhattan, Word Up spokesman Veronica Liu said.
"Our main aim is to raise the profile of reading and writing in the neighborhood," Liu said.
Another attraction will be a group discussion of Luis Alberto Urrea's "Into the Beautiful North," which Liu said is Word Up's choice for The Big Read, an initiative by the National Endowment of the Arts that aims to get communities reading and discussing the selected books.
Uptown Lit will be held on Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the United Palace and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Word Up Community Bookshop. The full schedule of events at can be found at www.uptownlit.com.