Press Contact:

Laura McDermott Matheric




Nonprofit organization seeks to cultivate community through the written word by offering original programming such as readings, workshops, literary review and more


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. ­– August 2014 – Seeking to cultivate community through the written word, the literary arts organization Orange Island Arts Foundation (OIAF) will officially debut to the public on Saturday, Sept. 27, with a Launch Party followed by the live poetry event 100 Thousand Poets for Change. Members of the South Florida literary world and the public are invited to enjoy an evening of drinks, light bites, art, music and poetry as Orange Island Arts Foundation is officially unveiled at World & Eye Arts Center in F.A.T. Village, Fort Lauderdale.


“Orange Island Arts Foundation hopes to serve as a resource for existing and emerging writers, as well as creative youth, to foster the literary arts in all forms,” says Executive Director Laura McDermott Matheric. “Further, by connecting with the community in Broward County, South Florida and beyond, we seek to prove that the written word is alive and well in this digital age.”


During the launch party, from 6-7 p.m., guests will have the chance to meet the staff of writers behind Orange Island Arts Foundation and learn about the organization’s future plans, including a literary review publishing student and adult writers, Orange Island Review; a floating writers workshop, Writers @ Sea; an original video series featuring established writers, Bards @ Bars; and much more. DJ Honest Bill will be spinning tunes, and Cakes by Sarah bakery will offer delicious baked goods. Guests will also enjoy an art installation by Nzingah Oniwosan and an interactive poetry-on-demand event hosted by Eat Your Poem.

From 7-10 p.m. will be 100 Thousand Poets for Change (100TPC), an annual one-day event in which poets around the country and the globe gather in a celebration of poetry to promote social, environmental and political change. The 100TPC event at World & Eye, coordinated by Orange Island Arts Foundation, will feature poetry readings by such acclaimed authors as Rosalia Curbelo, Neil de la Flor, Denise Duhamel, Michael Hettich, Caridad Moro McCormick, Nzingah Oniwosan, Julie Marie Wade, Marie Whitman and “Bonita Day.” Cocktails, light bites and music will be available.


Plus, attendees will have the chance to enjoy the Last Saturday Art Walk in F.A.T. Village, during which they can peruse galleries, studios and other creative spaces while enjoying music, drinks and food trucks. Local vendors will also be on hand, offering creative handmade wares.


Orange Island Arts Foundation comprises an experienced team of writing and communications professionals led by McDermott Matheric, who studied creative writing at Florida State University and received her Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry from Florida International University. A tenured assistant professor of English at Broward College and recipient of the 2014 Wells Fargo Endowed Teaching Chair, McDermott Matheric has developed several literary projects within the local community and served as the festival coordinator of a renowned South Florida poetry festival for nearly a decade.


The name Orange Island refers to the first budding landmass of Florida. As sea levels rose during the early Oligocene Epoch, the island formed south of the Georgia coastline. Just as this tumultuous time period resulted in drastic geographic changes to the region now known as Florida, the Orange Island Arts Foundation seeks to create a literary arts community rising out of Broward County with the aim for global reach.


A donation of $5 is suggested for the OIAF Launch Party (6-7 p.m.) and 100 Thousand Poets for Change Event (7-10 p.m.), both of which will take place at World & Eye Arts Center, 109 N.W. Fifth St., F.A.T. Village, Fort Lauderdale. For more information, visit or call 954-701-5430. Find us on Facebook at and Twitter at @OrangeIslandArt.


About Orange Island Arts Foundation

Orange Island Arts Foundation (OIAF), which is based in Broward County yet serves South Florida and beyond, is a nonprofit organization that encourages creativity; cultivates learning; and engages youth, established and aspiring writers and the community at large with the literary arts in all forms (poetry, prose, fiction and nonfiction). By providing avenues for local and national artists, we seek to inspire those who are interested in further developing their talents. Staffed by professional writers, Orange Island Arts Foundation supports transformational ideas by creating literary programs to help the 21st century writer in collaboration, publishing, showcasing, and learning. Programming includes a literary review, workshops, readings, a video series, social events, contests and more. Visit

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