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Serving the Underserved
We met the challenges of 2020–21 with innovation and determination, expanding while making an impact in communities hardest hit by the pandemic. Fresh off our 2019 cross-country road trip, we were well prepared to work with a range of agencies to find creative solutions to the limitations of lockdown. We partnered with the Department of Transportation and the New York City Housing Authority to deploy our Bookmobile across the city, delivering thousands of free books, book bags, and school supplies to families in need, safely and responsibly. By serving a diverse array of communities, from The Bronx to East Harlem to Brooklyn, we helped build home libraries* for thousands of New Yorkers traditionally underserved by the literary arts.
“I’m very grateful for the important work that House of SpeakEasy is doing to ensure that families can build libraries of their own.”
— Diana Ayala, City Council Member, 8th District, East Harlem
Connecting Students with Writers
Students go on to four-year colleges*
Students go on to two-year colleges*
*Based on National Student Clearinghouse via our longtime partner, Talent Unlimited High School.
“I’ve never interacted with a writer before. My favorite part was the diversity and hearing from people that have a different race.”
— Chelsea, Grade 11, SpeakEasy virtual student matinee participant, University Heights High School, The Bronx
Connecting Audiences and Writers
Audience increase on YouTube since its launch in spring 2020
Average increase in impressions on Instagram
Average monthly increase in impressions on Vimeo
“There was someone from Singapore who heard me read. My old students are joining. That kind of wallsmashing is exciting to me.”
— Paul Lisicky, featured Seriously Entertaining author quoted in Esquire “How Authors & Bookstores Are Surviving the Coronavirus,” May 13, 2020
Building a Global Audience
Livestreaming our popular literary cabaret show allowed us to expand beyond New York City and reach audiences around the world, engaging writers across the country. We reached viewers in 16 new cities and 6 new countries, featured authors living in 12 new cities on our virtual stage.
New audiences by city and country:
- Hong Kong
- San Francisco
- South Korea
- St. Louis
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
Authors featured in these cities:
- Chapel Hill
- Los Angeles
- Washington, D.C.
Help us continue to deliver our programs to those who need them most. 100% of our donations go directly toward serving our mission of connecting authors and audiences, students and communities.
Founded in 2013 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit by biographer and historian Amanda Foreman and editor Lucas Wittmann, House of SpeakEasy is dedicated to building bridges through storytelling, fostering student and community engagement with literature, and ensuring book ownership is a right not a privilege. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
House of Speakeasy
117 East 19th Street, New York, NY 10003