Over the past month Wordcraft has undergone some big changes. Due to the pandemic we have aligned much of the work Dr. Lee Francis 4 has been involved in, including the Indigenous Comic Con and Red Planet Books and Comics. Going forward, these efforts will all be housed under the Wordcraft banner in an effort to consolidate and focus the energies of our staff, supporters, donors and friends.
What does this mean for our various efforts?
Not much really. Red Planet Books and Comics will continue to be the only Native comic shop in the world and will continue our efforts to provide more Native and Indigenous books to schools, cultural institutions and libraries throughout the world. The Indigenous Comic Con (aka IndigiPop X) will continue to be a venue for Native Creatives and though our efforts to broaden its exposure the event will find more overlap with other Wordcraft Events such as Returning the Gift and the Indigenous Futurisms Days. These events will continue to highlight the work and words of Native Creatives in multiple disciplines.
“Our events will continue to highlight the work and words of Native Creatives in multiple disciplines.”
And speaking of RTG, the original plan was to return the venerated festival to downtown Albuquerque this Fall (2020). However, in the overabundance of caution, we will be postponing until the Spring of 2021. If you would like to be on the Events Planning Committee, please drop us a line at Wordcraft.email@example.com.
Perhaps the biggest change will come to Native Realities. For almost seven years, Native Realities has published comics and graphics novels by, for, and about Native and Indigenous communities. From our earliest works with the Wool of Jonesy to Native Entrepreneurs, …Not at all! Through our partnership with UNM Press, we will continue to produce high quality graphic novels under our Red Planet Books (UNM) Imprint. Further, we will release a few new products from Red Planet BnC, including some educational readers, some YA, and some brand new tabletop games.
And what happens with Native Realities? It will transform to Native Realities Digital! A new online site for literary content, conversations, videos and more. In some ways, Native Realities is going back to its roots as it was originally created as the online journal for Wordcraft Circle.
"Our most immediate efforts will be to continue fundraising and developing our membership. Over the years, membership has been the backbone of our efforts to connect and promote Native writers, storytellers, and creatives."
Through all these changes, our most immediate efforts will be to continue fundraising and developing our membership. Over the years, membership has been the backbone of our efforts to connect and promote Native writers, storytellers, and creatives. We’ve updated our membership system (which will run through the Red Planet online portal) to be more proactive and more 21st century. We also have more benefits for membership than ever before, including great discounts at Red Planet Books and Comics.
As for fundraising: in this time of crisis, our fundraising is focused on providing some relief and support for Native creatives. Whether through our direct relief fund, through our internal writing opportunities for NRD, or through our Story Keepers project which will focus on getting resources into the hands of our professional storytellers. Just this past month, we raised over $1000 for these efforts and we will continue to do so throughout the coming months as we know the crisis will have long-lasting implications on the creative community.
Wordcraft Circle was founded almost thirty years ago when Dr. Lee Francis III had a vision about the work and words of Native creatives. Today, we affirm that mission and will continue to honor the memory of our founder in bringing these words to the world. We know have certainly waxed and waned over the years but we have always continued to promote, to support, to engage. We hope you will continue this incredible journey with us into an unknown future. And though the road may be rocky, it is all the more important we must continue to tell our stories for all the generations - past, present, and future!