Celebrating Our Region in Word, Image and Sound
The Inlandia Institute is a non-profit literary center. We recognize, support and encourage literary activity in all forms in Inland Southern California.
The Mission of the Inlandia Institute is to recognize, support and expand all forms of literary activity through community programs in Inland Southern California, thereby deepening people’s awareness, understanding, and appreciation of this unique, complex and creatively vibrant region (see Five Core Programs Below).
We envision an inclusive and collaborative enterprise that promotes writers with a regional voice and that stimulates a greater awareness of the area’s diverse literary, artistic, and cultural heritage. We believe there is enough talent and passion in the area to create a literary renaissance; we see the Inlandia Institute serving as a catalyst for that renaissance.
In late 2006, the independent nonprofit publisher Heyday released Inlandia: a Literary Journey through California’s Inland Empire. Soon after, literary professionals and supporters in the region began discussions about the need for ongoing support and promotion of literary endeavors and programming. The Riverside Public Library (RPL) took the lead in those efforts using the term “Inlandia” to brand its cultural programming. In August 2007, Heyday and the City of Riverside entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish the Inlandia Institute. As a City-affiliated organization, the Inlandia Institute provided cultural programming at the RPL from 2007 to 2009, while at the same time exploriring the Inlandia Institute's potential. A regional Advisory Council of 26 members convened in June 2008 and contintues to meet quarterly. The Advisory Council determined that for the Inlandia Institute to fulfill its mission it should incorporate as an independent non-profit organization.
The Inlandia Institute was incorporated in June of 2009. An Incorporating Board of Directors, drawn from the Advisory Council, filed for non-profit, tax-exempt status, and in 2012 it was granted. The Institute's tax ID number is 27-0586882, thus making donations to the Inlandia Institute tax deductable.
Under its Affiliates Program, the Inlandia Institute continues to provide cultural programs for the Riverside Public Library, as well as others libraries and cultural organizations throughout the region.
The Inlandia Institute has five core programs through which it fulfills its mission. The Institute also undertakes special projects from time to time, and we enter relationships with other organizations and agencies with compatible missions to facilitate, sustain and expand the literary arts throughout the region.
In partnership with Heyday we co-published books with a unique regional voice under the Inlandia imprint, including No Place for a Puritan: The literature of Califonria's deserts edited by Ruth Nolan, and Rose Hill: an Intermarriage before Its Time by Carlos Cortes.
In 2012, under or own independent Inlandia Imprint, we have published a children's chapter book, Dos Chiles/Two Chiles, by local author and educator Julianna Cruz, as well as Writing from Inlandia, an annual anthology featuring the work of the participants in the Inlandia Creative Writing Workshops conducted in the preceding workshop year.
In 2010 we launched, Inlandia: A Literary Journey, is the Inlandia Institute’s On-line Creative Writing Journal.
Free Public Events
Programs feature the literary arts in all of their forms and include author readings & book signings, exhibitions, films, and discussions with acclaimed artists with deep ties to Inlandia.
The Inlandia Literary Laureate award is the first such recognition of the literary talent in Inland Southern California. It brings long overdue focus and attention to our region by celebrating its literary excellence. Inlandia Literary Laureates must live or work in Inland Southern California, write in a regional voice, work with diverse audiences, mentor emerging writers, foster creative literacy, and have a body of critically acclaimed published work. In 2010, Susan Straight was named Inlandia's first Literary Laureate.
Literary Professional Development
Workshops and seminars encourage and support emerging writers in meeting their own literary goals. Programs include the Inlandia Creative Writing Workshops held throughout the region. Workshops are led by accomplished authors, editors and educators. Seminars on publishing, editing, and copyright issues help position writers in the literary market place.
Creative Literacy Programs
The Inlandia Institute sponsors school-based curriculum and literary events that help educators maximize children’s creative potential, critical thinking skills, and critical verbal literacy. In addition, Inlandia produces Teen Creative Writing Workshops, and a Children's Poetry Theater which was developed in partnership with the 2012 State Poet Laureate and Inlandia resident, Juan Felipe Herrera. An interactive bilingual presentation, it draws from Herrera's children's book, The Upside Down Boy. Supported by a generous grant from the Target Foundation, it is presented regularly in area schools.