Riverside Public Library’s Inlandia Institute

Inland Empire arts and culture

The Riverside Public Library and Heyday Books of Berkeley have worked together to create the Inlandia Institute, a center of literary activity.  The Inlandia Institute nurtures the rich and ongoing literary traditions of inland southern California.  The Inlandia Institute’s vision is 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.

In 2008 and 2009, the Inlandia Institute received support from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program.  In 2008, a grant supported the Native American Storytelling and Literary Tradition of the Inland Empire, a project creating a dialogue with contemporary Native American scholars, authors, and cultural educators to look at the place of the Native literary tradition in historical context of “Inlandia.”  By recognizing the work of established Native authors and poets, the project hoped to make the genre more accessible and nurture creative writing to sustain the Native literary tradition that is based solidly on oral traditions.  In 2009, a grant supported a multifaceted, free performance series promoting appreciation and preservation of the Inland Empire’s cultural heritage.  Local artists from South India, Poland, Hungary, and Mexico were featured through expressions of music, dance, poetry translations, visual arts, and literature.