Please read this entire page before continuing to our booking request form below.
Welcome to the Firestorm Community Space!
The Firestorm Community Space is available for meetings, classes, workshops, fundraisers, author events (please read Authors and Readings below), activist report-backs and presentations, film screenings, and most anything else you can dream up to enlighten, empower, and entertain our community!
Events are free to the public, but hosts may "pass the hat" or ask for a suggested donation. In certain circumstances, we can make the space available for events that charge a cover/entrance fee. Any such commercial event is subject to a 25% space use fee (fundraisers are exempt).
Firestorm provides this free community resource because we believe that people should have access to space for organizing, socializing, and self-expression, regardless of whether they are able to pay for it. This is a fundamental value held by our collective, as we seek a world of strong communities and decentralized power.
As both a worker-owned co-operative that has a financial bottom line, and an anarchist project rooted in principles of mutual aid rather than charity, we also value community support for US! Accessible space and grassroots programming at Firestorm is only possible due to the generous support of our Community Sustainers. We ask that event hosts make themselves aware of our sustainers program (more info here) and encourage their attendees to support our co-op through participation and/or patronage of our bookstore. Doing so can help to keep this free community space free and thriving for years to come!
We strive for ADA compliance in our space, with no steps required to enter, wide aisles between shelves, and a bathroom equipped with grab bar, ample room for mobility, and accessible toilet. The floors in our bookstore and community room are unobstructed, however the floors in our cafe and children's space are covered by large rugs that may limit access.
Additionally, we encourage facilitators to consider participants with a diverse range of experiences and abilities when creating their events. To improve the accessibility of your event, please keep the following topics in mind.
We ask presenters and facilitators to provide content warnings for any sensitive topics contained in your event, both in promotional materials as well as verbally at the start of the event itself. While it is impossible to anticipate all the triggers that may come up for people, content warnings provide visitors with the information needed to make informed decisions about their participation.
For the benefit of people with chemical sensitivities, we ask visitors and event organizers to refrain from wearing perfumes or colognes or bringing scented objects such as candles, incense, and essential oils into the space.
Discussions & Visual Aids
There are auditory and visual adjustments event organizers can make to enhance the experience of participants. Examples include increasing font sizes, providing captions, and establishing a group norm to speak one at a time.
To learn more about improving accessibility for your event, we suggest the following reading: Trauma-Informed Facilitation by Mary-Margaret Sweeney, An Introduction to Content Warnings and Trigger Warnings by Inclusive Teaching, and How Can You Make Your Presentation Accessible? by Richard Ladner.
Space & Equipment
Capacity is comfortable at twenty, cozy at twenty-five, and above that will require some folks to stand, or event hosts to provide additional seating for spillover. The community room is separated from the primary sales floor by a heavy curtain that is NOT soundproof—please consider if this meets your need for privacy/quiet.
The following equipment is available to use at no cost:
- Three large folding tables with black tablecloths, two small folding tables, and folding chairs
- Digital projector (requires HDMI port or adapter) and screen
- Mobile PA system and wireless mic
- White board
Bands & Live Music
Asheville is a city with an abundance of music venues. Our co-op does not have the infrastructure available at these other spaces, the licensing required to allow for the performance of cover songs, or the built in audience for music. In the past, when we have hosted live music it has been poorly attended except in instances where the organizer had a robust local network and the ability to manage all aspects of promotion. With rare exception, we will decline to host singer songwriters, bands, and other music acts. Please contact us only if you believe that your performance is uniquely suited to an anarchist bookstore and you can take full responsibility for bringing a crowd.
Authors & Readings
As an independent bookstore with a radical mission, Firestorm hosts author events that showcase the work of underrepresented voices. We have found that book readings, signings, and discussions that do not fit our established niche often fail to draw a satisfactory audience. For this reason we will only book an author if they meet one of the following criteria:
- Author is local
- Author writes from their perspective as an LGBTQ+ person
- Author writes from their perspective as a person of color
- Author writes nonfiction on an anarchist, feminist, liberationist, or leftist subject
Getting the Word Out
Please understand that Firestorm's capacity to advertise your event is modest. Hosts should vigorously promote their own events to ensure a strong turnout; therefore, we strongly suggest that you do some or all of the following:
- Place event listings in local community calendars
- Share invitations via social media
- Create a physical flyer to hang in Firestorm and around town
- Use targeted engagement of relevant social or professional networks to generate interest
- Write and circulate a press release
- Go "on air" with a local radio show
To assist event organizers with these actions, we've compiled a brief publicity guide (available here). Please review it as soon as possible for specific recommendations and links.
Assuming you provide us with the necessary information, you can expect to see your event on our website, listed in our monthly newsletter (physical and electronic), and prominently displayed on our storefront event board. If you would like us to create a Facebook event page for you, please let us know.
Event Booking Process
Step 1: Determine the best day and time for your event
We host events during normal business hours (10am-8pm Tuesday through Sunday), and occasionally after-hours.
Check our online calendar of events to see which dates and times are available (please note that an open spot on the online calendar does not ensure availability, but it's a good place to start!). Events that are public should be booked well in advance, ideally for the following month, to allow sufficient time for promotion and inclusion on our monthly event calendars.
Step 2: Submit a booking request form
Fill out a booking form at www.firestorm.coop/booking.html
Step 3: Receive confirmation of your event
Event hosts will typically receive a response to their booking request in about one week. If you have not received a response within one week and would like to check on the status of your event, call the store at 828-255-8115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to follow up.
Please note that our collective reviews all booking requests to determine that events are appropriate for our physical space and in keeping with our goals as a project. If concerns exist we will work to resolve them whenever possible, but our collective makes the final decision on whether or not to accept event requests.
Step 4: Get ready for a great event!
Get into promo-mode! Send your event flyer to our Community Events Coordinator (email@example.com), share your social media event page with us, and keep in touch about any changes to your event that might arise!