Kelly Writers House, A Place for Everyone


– Every morning during the
summer after 10th grade, I woke up at six to ride my
bike to Rob Taylor’s apartment. – At universities, there
are only a few spaces where creatives not
slotted into a discipline, but people who are
generally creative, can hang out and
find each other. And the Writers House
is a place like that. – The Kelly Writers House
really fosters creativity because there are so
many people that are so excited about
what you’re doing, and they’re really excited
about what they’re doing, and just being surrounded
by these people who are so motivated
in that way, it’s a bunch of people that
ask why not rather than why, and you can’t help but
really be propelled that way. – If you come to the
Writers House, you can join a talk, a seminar, a workshop, a reading group, a performance, a series of improvisations, or a course, a class,
any of those things. – Any program anyone’s
interested in, you can just walk into
the Writers House, sit down and listen. We get really cool
people to come, and really famous
people to come, so it’s really diverse
in what it brings to the Penn community. – The vibe of the Writers
House is almost always the vibe of a family. – To know you will
come in and people will offer you food,
you can talk about what’s been going
on in your day. Just to sort of have
that emotional safety net is really important, and I think we’re all so stressed out
as students all the time, this is maybe one
place on campus I do not associate
with stress at all. – The Kelly Writers
House is definitely a home away from home for me. There’s always good
food, good company, great programs that
I can look forward to every single day. There’s really no place
on campus, I think, that makes me feel
more supported than
the Writers House. – I think students believe
when they walk in this space, that it is a place that
has been made by students, and that its mission has
been carved out by students. So this is a bottom-up
initiative that
aligns really well with, for instance, two
of the important “I’s” in our university-wide mission. And they would be
innovation and inclusion. Inclusion? Everyone
walks in the door. Everyone is available, you
need not be a certain nature, you need not be in a school, you need not even be a
matriculated Penn student. And innovation? This is an
incubator. This is a skunkworks. The Writers House
is a place where we put out a beanbag
chair and assume that great ideas are
gonna come from it. – If you just come and say
hi and introduce yourself, everyone will be very welcoming and very happy that
you’re here, definitely.

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