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  • NYS Writers Institute

Our updated mission statement


The NYS Writers Institute: Our mission is to explore and teach the writing craft; to celebrate diverse voices in all genres; to honor the power of literature as a force for individual growth and social good;

and to foster a vibrant community of readers and writers who engage in meaningful dialogue.

We invite you to join the conversation.

Framed pen used by Gov. Mario M. Cuomo to sign legislation that created the NYS Writers Institute in 1984.

Now in our 40th year, it's a good time to reflect on what we do. And more importantly, why we do what we do.

Our team met discussed and agreed on a more focused mission statement than what we had previously written, which was passive and hard to find on our website. Check out the phrase in italics:

“Since its creation in 1983 as a UAlbany-based center and its expansion a year later to a state-supported cultural program, the Writers Institute has provided the broadest possible educational base for readers and students of writing to promote the literary arts. As its program offerings continue to grow, the Institute's central aim is to celebrate literature, writing, and performance, and to enhance the role of writers as a community within the larger community.”

We also looked back to our history and the legislative mandate -- NYS Senate Bill Number 10022 -- that formally and legally established the New York State Writers Institute a year after our founding. Signed into law by Gov. Mario Cuomo on August 6, 1984. The law stated the NYS Writers Institute is given the mandate to provide "a milieu for established and aspiring writers to work together to increase the freedom of the artistic imagination," and "to encourage the development of writing skills at all levels of education throughout the state."

We believe our new mission statement honors our 40-year history and covers the range and intent of all our various programming -- events featuring writers, poets, actors, and newsmakers; the Albany Book Festival; the Albany Film Festival; our Telling the Truth symposia; community engagement initiatives; etc. -- as we continue to enrich the cultural life of the Capital Region.

Our new mission statement is now posted prominently atop our "Who We Are" section and on our Facebook site. We're also linking to it in the footer of our website.

We welcome your comments.


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