The innovative 1888 Center is located in the historic District of Old Towne Orange, California. The building, constructed in 1925, hosts a bookshop, gallery, multi-use performance space, and café serving creative beverages crafted by Contra Coffee & Tea.


We need your help supporting our community and building a cultural legacy for future generations.


Partnerships and contributions support lifelong learning programs, collaborative exhibitions, educational workshops, and community projects. 1888 also offers unique opportunities through Corporate Giving and our Founders Group.

Member – $40+
Friend – $100+
Family – $500+
Advocate – $1,000+
Associate – $2,500+

1888 is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Employer Identification Number (EIN): 47-4550601




MEMBER – $40+


FRIEND – $100+

  • All Member benefits, plus:
  • 2017 edition of The Cost of Paper our annual international short story anthology
  • 1888 Coffee Mug with Contra Coffee & Tea Gift Card


FAMILY – $500+

  • All Member and Friend benefits, plus:
  • Recognition in 2017 edition of The Cost of Paper, our annual international short story anthology
  • 2017 historic Dime Novel from our tribute series of genre classics from the late 1800’s


ADVOCATE – $1,000+


ASSOCIATE – $2,500+

Community Videos

CONTRIBUTING on a cultural exchange project with UGLARworks and South African artists for the City of Los Angeles, 1888 Board Member Ryan Gattis talks about the literary landscape with filmmaker Graham Lovelis.

COLLABORATING with photojournalist Shannon Cottrell and Southern California authors to capture their definition of Routineologyour project-based study of creative routine.

CONNECTING with Orange Home Grown to develop a Small Towne Short Stories live podcast discussion with Historian Phil Brigandi and Barbara Resnick of the Orange Community Historical Society.

Limited Edition Shirt

In conjunction with our end-of-year fundraiser, 1888 collaborated with TankFarm & Co. to produce a limited edition shirt inspired by Walt Whitman’s Advice to the State Scholars“The current cannot be stopped.” Walt Whitman, 1888


To receive your shirt, please consider supporting 1888 and donating as a MemberFriendFamilyAdvocate, or Associate.



The history behind Walt Whitman’s quote: “In February 1888, The Signal, the student newspaper of The College of New Jersey (then the New Jersey State Normal and Model Schools), published an interview with Walt Whitman titled “Walt Whitman’s Advice to the State Scholars.” The Signal came into existence in 1885, and two of its pioneers-George Worman, class of 1886, and Francis B. Lee, class of 1888-had traveled to Camden to conduct the interview with Whitman, soliciting advice for those state scholars who wished to follow the “literary life.” The interview, the first one conducted by The Signal, presents Whitman’s strong pedagogical nature, as he gladly offers literary advice to the young state scholars.”


Kukawski, Nicole. “Walt Whitman’s Advice to New Jersey State Scholars: An Unknown Interview.” Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 23 (Summer 2005), 54-59.


The How The Why is a half-hour podcast documenting the creative process and the creative purpose. This free weekly series is an educational resource provided to discuss the evolution of literary arts with industry innovators. Occasionally, episodes will be recorded live at special events including Eichler Sessions and university tours through our Literary Arts Collective. Episodes are available at and on iTunes.

Vision Book

Our vision is to establish a lasting cultural center in Old Towne Orange, California, and transform the City into the Literary Arts Capital of Southern California.


To learn more about our organization, please view the slides below or download a pdf (15.8 MB) version of our Vision Book, which highlights 1888 exhibitions, publishing, programs, and partners, and features a brief history of the City of Orange, the state of literary arts in Orange County, and a review of awards and media recognition. Contact us if you’d like to request a print edition.