PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. PEN’s mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. PEN America works to ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to access the views, ideas, and literatures of others.
PEN America seeks to expand the platform for new and innovative narratives by and about American Muslims, immigrants, refugees, and other writers of color beyond its core audience to the creators and influencers of American popular culture. Specifically, they will investigate the development of a pipeline connecting compelling intellectual property (IP), including books, journalism, podcasts, and/or life rights sourced from some of its most distinguished literary programs to the entertainment industry. The goal of the IP Pipeline is to create an infrastructure to connect exciting content by writers from previously marginalized communities to mass media producers, and, in doing so, to center diverse identities and create a cultural shift in both pop culture and contemporary American dialogues.
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“Since its founding, PEN America has championed literature as a universal connector. Our work celebrates extraordinary writers, artists, and free expression advocates. As the media landscape continues to evolve, we believe an IP Pipeline is a real opportunity to expand upon our decades-long efforts to discover, nurture, and amplify essential voices, recognizing, like Pop Culture Collaborative, the singular power of the media to reach broader audiences, inspire personal revelations, and bring about cultural transformation through narrative shifts.” – Michelle Franke, Executive Director, PEN America Los Angeles, and Project Director