2017 Viola Award Nominee for Business for the Arts

Uptown Pubhouse is more than just a bar. It has quickly become an important venue for literature and creative writing over the past several years. The community pub hosts the Viola Award-winning Narrow Chimney Reading Series, which features readings from prominent published authors and emerging and student writers as well. Uptown also hosts musical acts and sometimes hosts art exhibitions for local artists.

Owners Aly and James Jay (pictured) truly care about the community they serve. In 2015, in response to the recent cuts to arts funding in the state of Arizona, they announced a scholarship program for local writers. They gave the first scholarship to local writer Justin Bigos, who was nominated for a 2016 Viola Award. They host fundraising events to support local non-profits and contribute to many local cultural causes. The Narrow Chimney Reader, a compilation of writings from those who have participated in the series, was published in 2015 with support from Uptown, which also supports Thin Air Magazine. They also sell books and CD’s by local artists and take no commission.

Some of the arts, literature and cultural programs and organizations that Uptown Pubhouse has helped to fund and support in the past few years have included the following:

Literature:

  • Hosts Narrow Chimney Reading Series on Monday nights
  • Hosts the annual Great Gatsby Night, featuring a plethora of literary readings from the American classic novel and exquisite costuming from that time period
  • Hosts numerous book signings and readings from local authors, such as Michael D. Griffiths, and international writers, such as Robin Hemley
  • Boldly hosts the Kilted Zombie Walk, which culminates with a reading and book signing by the gruesomely transformed Celtic scholar, Kenneth McIntosh
  • Hosts the odd, goofy, and educational tributes to a bevy of authors with events such as Bukowski Day, Kerouac/Beat Lit Week, Hunter S. Thompson Day
  • Hosts a lecture on the literary, political, and social impact of Irish poet, Bobby Sands
  • Hosts a lecture on groundbreaking feminist poet (and genius), Eavan Boland
  • Hosts a lecture on iconic Irish poet, W.B. Yeats
  • Hosts the Limerick Poetry Slam during St. Patrick’s Day
  • Contributor to Thin Air Magazine, the nationally distributed literary magazine from Northern Arizona University’s graduate creative writing program
  • Contributor to Copper Canyon Press, one of the largest poetry publishers in the nation
  • Contributor to Lummox Press, a grassroots blue collar book publisher
  • Contributor to the annual Jim Simmerman Poetry Prize for students of Flagstaff high schools

Music:

  • Contributor to Living Traditions, a Flagstaff based live Celtic music program
  • With the instruction of Viola Award winner Kari Barton, hosts Irish dance lessons
  • Provides the venue for the annual Colorado River Days original song composition contest, hosted by brilliant musician Alicyn Gitlin, which also serves as a fundraiser for the Sierra Club
  • Regular contributor to Razorcake magazine, a nonprofit punk music magazine

Culture:

  • Longtime supporter, financially and through volunteer work, of the Northern Arizona Celtic Heritage Society and the annual Celtic Festival
  • Creates fundraisers that combines whisky and spirits tasting and education and donates 100% of the proceeds to organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff, Second Chance Animal Shelter, and the Gaelic Athletic Association of Northern Arizona/the Mountain Hounds Irish Hurling Club
  • During the First Friday Art Walk, Uptown regularly hosts visual artists, such as Jeremy Singer, Jerrel Singer, and Chad Lundberg
  • Sells tickets, with no commission, for local, cultural events, such as the Robert Burns Supper and Tea with Diana Gabaldon
  • Regular contributor to the Northern Arizona Pride Association
  • Regular contributor to Theatrikos Theatre Company
  • Regular contributor to the Coconino Community College scholarship program
  • Hosts historical lecture by PhD History candidate Doug Lintner on “The Battle of Clontarf,” discussing Celtic and Viking culture during the 11th century
  • Hosts public scholar, Todd Barnell, and his lecture on the historical origins of the vampire myth and its transformation and morphing into faerie myths in Celtic society

Links:

Uptown Pubhouse website

AZ Daily Sun article about Narrow Chimney

Narrow Chimney reading videos