Amanda Deutch

Parachute Literary Arts
Artistic Discipline: Literary Arts
Category: Brooklyn Arts Fund
Grant Year: 2020
Location: Coney Island

Founded in 2009, Parachute Literary Arts is a Coney Island based community arts organization. Parachute Literary Arts mission is to celebrate, preserve, and encourage Coney Island’s rich literary heritage through public performance, education, and outreach. They do this in many ways, among them, by inviting writers who have written about Coney Island and writers living in Coney Island to participate in festivals, workshops and site-specific readings in Coney Island. Parachute also honors those writers who have written about Coney Island and are no longer with us. They believe in the arts as a catalyst for change and creating community.

Parachute Literary Arts is planning Poem-a-Rama 2020, a unique site-specific poetry event on the landmark Deno’s Wonder Wheel in Coney Island. Poem-a-Rama coincides with the Wonder Wheel’s 100th birthday. Parachute hosted their first Poem-a-Rama in May, 2015 and it was a great success.

A multifarious array of poets, writers, and artists will recite poetry 150 feet off the ground to passengers riding in the Wonder Wheel cars for one evening. Poet Stephanie Gray will facilitate an eight-week creative writing workshop for those living and working in Coney Island. All events and workshops take place in Coney Island in 2020.

For Coney Island denizens, the nearest venues to see a movie, play or poetry reading, require a car, bus or subway trip. Parachute offers free and/or low cost cultural programming for those who live and work in Coney Island. Attendees at their first events in 2009 and ever since have included ticket takers, council members, pastors, teenagers, local store owners, and Cyclone mechanics.