– Fin –
This letter is to announce, with great sadness, that Mountain Fold Books will close its doors on Friday, November 4, 2016. Since 2013, Mountain Fold Books has operated as a project fund of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation. This summer, PPCF announced the discontinuation of its fiscal sponsorship program, which inadvertently became the catalyst for a series of setbacks from which MFB could not recover. In spite of the best of efforts of volunteers, Mountain Fold could not survive the transition.
As some of you may know, Mountain Fold Books coalesced, in part, around a summer poetry reading series called “Say Hello To Your Last Poem” that was organized by my husband, Noel Black and Aaron Cohick. The reading series brought lots of amazing writers and thinkers to town for potluck dinners and poetry readings in our back yard. Meanwhile, I had been developing ideas for a bookstore influenced by cultural and literary centers that have made an impact on my life: San Francisco’s Epicenter Zone, Adobe Books (& their small but mighty visual art gallery in the back of the store), Skylight Books in Los Angeles, Mobile Livre, St. Marks in New York, Innisfree poetry bookstore in Boulder, Counterpath in Denver, to name a few. The vision was for a bookstore dedicated to relevant, challenging, inclusive, and accessible small-press publications. At a time of rapid change in the viability of independent bookstores, we wanted to create a brick-and-mortar space where our community could gather for arts and literary culture. In Fall, 2013, this vision became the basis for a grant proposal that I wrote with Co-Founder, Jonathan Fey, for the Pikes Peak Community Foundation’s $10k Ingenuity Grant. We won the award, and that became our initial seed money. Noel Black, serving as our volunteer Development Director, led further fundraising efforts to help us open our doors to the public on September 1, 2014. It quickly became a hub for many amazing live literary events (broadly-defined) that were curated by Mia Alvarado, and for myriad other cultural events that can only happen when people, ideas and restless thinking interact in a physical space. Mountain Fold also became the home for a monthly Queer Open Mic series by Nico Wilkinson, and a series of independent music shows organized by Mitchell Macura that provided a venue for emerging musicians who might not otherwise have come through our city. More than a bookstore, gallery and cultural center, Mountain Fold Books was a years-long community art project in and of itself.
I would like to personally thank all the visitors, authors, artists, and contributors (too many to name here) who gave life to the space and brought much needed, underrepresented voices to our city. I would like to thank every donor large and small, without whose contributions we simply could not have kept the lights on. And I would especially like to acknowledge every volunteer who gave their time and energy and good will. Without whose efforts, Mountain Fold Books could not have been possible. Thank you to: Mia Alvarado, Noel Black, Morgan Calderini, Hannah Canneff, Aaron Cohick, Corie Cole, Ann Davenport, Kathryn Eastburn, Jonathan Fey, Jamie Fox, Caitlin Goebel, Caleb Gonzalez, Mitchell Macura, Daisy McGowan, Brianna McGrew, Varya Ware, and Nico Wilkinson. Finally, I would like to personally thank Han Sayles for her countless hours of hard work and dedication in creating a vibrant community around the bookstore and cafe.
On Saturday, November 12 from 12 – 5pm, we will open doors one last time for a going out of business sale and farewell party. Everything in the store, including store fixtures, dishes, furniture, and books, will be available for purchase, and all proceeds will help pay the rent for the remainder of the lease. Any unsold books will be donated to the Pikes Peak Library District. We are in the process of closing our PayPal account and winding down the business. If you have any questions about your donations please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Pikes Peak Community Foundation.
I will always be proud to say that we took a chance on an improbable project that not only fulfilled but, in two short years, exceeded its mission. Long live Mountain Fold Books, and see you around town.
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Mountain Fold Books, 2014-2016
“Now, I will simply do these maintenance everyday things, and flush them up to consciousness, exhibit them, as Art.”
– Mierle Ukeles, Manifesto for Maintenance Art, 1969