GREENVILLE — Greenville’s Drive-In 32 Outdoor Cinema will be hosting its fourth QWERTY Typewriter and the Letter Arts Festival from Sept. 14 through Sept. 19 both at the drive-in and through online workshops. The festival is traditionally held in the spring, but the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the festival to fall and social distancing measures mean that portions of the festival will be conducted online. It has also allowed for the festival to examine the role of words in our culture, as communication when we cannot be together has quickly adapted and evolved during the pandemic.
“The first time we hosted QWERTY in 2016 we just thought it was a fun idea that we hadn’t seen before - having a type-in, hosting the Boston Typewriter Orchestra and showing a documentary about typewriters. Since then we have seen the impact that typing has had on people, young and old, and hope to continue offering a space where people can be introduced (or re-introduced) to the typewriter,” said Leigh Van Swall, who owns Greenville’s Drive-In 32 with her husband, Dwight Grimm. The festival starts on Monday, September 14 with an online workshop from Maya Stein. Workshops throughout the week will include everything from collage and mixed media art with Amy Tingle (Tingle and Stein are the co-creators of The Creativity Caravan, a mobile creative arts company), letter writing, a gratitude workshop led by Children’s book author Lu Ann Schnable Kaldor and personalized poetry from Creativity Caravan to be delivered through the USPS. Registrants for the workshops will receive kits in the mail with materials needed for each course. The sign-up for workshops can be found at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080C45AAAD2CAAFF2-qwerty. Information about The Creativity Caravan can be found at www.thecreativitycaravan.com.
The festival culminates on Sept. 19 with a “type-in” featuring the typewriter collection of Erik Molbach, a Mail Art exhibit inside the Greenville’s Drive-In 32 snack bar including a collaboration by local artists Gail Marowitz and Ruby Silvious, a screened performance by the Boston Typewriter Orchestra, and a showing of “You’ve Got Mail,” the 90s Nora Ephron movie starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Social distancing measures as determined by the Center for Disease Control and New York State Department of Health will be enforced. Information on the Boston Typewriter Orchestra can be found at www.bostontypewriterorchestra.com.
Tickets for Sept. 19 are required and can be found at greenvilledrivein.simpletix.com – Use the promotional code TYPE for free tickets.
A call for mail art is issued through Sept. 14. Images of the mail will be posted to @drivein32 social media accounts. Mail Art can be submitted to Greenville’s Drive-In 32, P.O. Box 305, Greenville, NY 12083.
Drive-in theaters have faced a year of transformation, which includes expanding its programming to host music concerts and school graduations. Greenville’s Drive-In 32 was recently featured in a Parade Magazine story on the renaissance of drive-ins and has been active in promoting outdoor cinema through initiatives like the 100th anniversary of the first outdoor movie screening in Schoharie, N.Y.
More information about the QWERTY festival www.drivein32.com. Promotional photos can be found at www.dropbox.com/sh/mahkwquopake0w3/AAAxvGLo-K3vuIL2WQsubI4Oa?dl=0.