Bookmarks’ executive director Ginger Hendricks announced that the nonprofit is negotiating to lease approximately 5,000 square feet at 636 Â½ West Fourth Street. The announcement was made at Bookmarks’ keynote opening event with bestselling international author Azar Nafisi. Bookmarks’ expansion will include an independent bookstore, a dynamic new event and meeting space for readers and writers, Bookmarks’ offices, coffee bar and cafÃ©, and more!
The Nash Building, LLC serves as landlord and will upfit the space dramatically, and Bookmarks plans to open in 2017. Blue Door Group of Wilkinson ERA assisted Bookmarks with the search and finding of downtown space.
The site is located next to Foundations Early Learning Center (formerly MudPies) and is adjacent to Texas Pete’s new headquarters and test kitchen. A newly constructed open breezeway from Fourth Street will connect Bookmarks to Design Archives Emporium, Domino’s Pizza Restaurant with beer and wine (opening 2017), Foothill’s Brewing, and all of Fourth Street. Bookmarks has plans to display artwork inspired by books inside the breezeway. There will also be a parking lot with more than 80 spaces (current parking lot will be repaired and restriped) with wheelchair and stroller accessible access behind the building â€“ with entry off of Holly Avenue.
Hendricks said the new downtown location for Bookmarks is made possible thanks to significant donations and pledges by Janice and Charlie Lovett, Adrienne Amos Livengood, and Emily and Ed Wilson as well as more than 300 community members. 60 percent has been raised to support Bookmarks’ expansion efforts, but the nonprofit needs to raise an additional $150,000 to complete the project. Wendy and Mike Brenner have given a $20,000 matching donation so donations made over the Festival weekend will be matched. Donations may be taken online, at the Bookmarks Bookstore on Saturday, or by giving cash at the Festival events.
Bookmarks is a literary arts nonprofit organization that engages, inspires, and connects readers with authors and books. This is achieved through the largest annual free book festival in North and South Carolina; Triad-based author talks; and the Authors in Schools program, which will reach 7,000 students in 2016. Visit bookmarksnc.org for a schedule and more information.