Dear friends,

The Writers Place is very excited to welcome our new executive director, Elizabeth Fischer. Since joining TWP at the beginning of March, Elizabeth has lost no time in getting to know the community of The Writers Place. If you haven’t had a chance to meet Elizabeth, and even if you have, I hope you’ll take a moment to read our feature profile of her to learn her vision for The Writers Place. We want to thank everyone who stopped by our March 20th Open House to welcome her. If you couldn’t join us then, please stop by TWP to get to know her. We think you’ll find her as energizing as we do.

Elizabeth’s arrival signals a shift in TWP’s goal of having a full-time executive director. The board recognizes that this is a critical time in the arts community, and particularly challenging for the literary arts, given major shifts in the publishing industry. More importantly, we know that by having a full-time director The Writers Place will be able to take on some of the great opportunities before us, as the Kansas City region broadens its support for local arts and culture.

This quarter the newsletter also highlights two people who have long associations with The Writers Place. UMKC professor and local playwright, Frank Higgins, talks about his creative and commercial processes. Local author, editor and poet Ann Slegman, a long-time active supporter of The Writers Place, will be honored at this year’s annual “Celebration of the Muse,” on May 21. Check the newsletter for ticket information. We hope you’ll be able to join us for what promises to be a wonderful evening held at UMKC’s Diastole Scholars' Center on Hospital Hill.

In the meantime, while I’ve enjoyed playing the role of figurehead for our newsletter these past two issues, check this space next issue and in the future for a regular message from Elizabeth Fischer, Executive Director. We’re convinced this is going to be an active and exciting year.

José Faus, President