Julie Bates, Literary Programs Manager for Intermedia Arts

Where were you born and raised?

I was born on an island off the southern coast of Alaska, and I grew up in a small town just south of the Twin Cities.

Where do you currently reside?
St. Paul’s Mac/Groveland neighborhood

Age: 27

Five things you love about the Twin Cities:
The arts. Not only do we have nationally and internationally recognized places, but we also have the edgy stuff that veers outside the trend.

2. We have dozens of beautiful city lakes and trails for walking, running, swimming and in-line skating.

3. Minneapolis and St. Paul are both places where you can easily find and connect with a community.

4. We have significant communities of many different new immigrant populations.

5. I love the historic water towers. There are three of them; they’re made of stone and one looks like a witch’s hat on top.

What distinguishes the Twin Cities from other metropolitan areas in terms of literary arts?

Accessibility. One of the programs I run is called the Carol Connolly Reading Series, in which up-and-coming new writers read with Pulitzer Prize winners, writers for the New Yorker, Minnesota Book Award winners–and all of these people are local. Great writers are not under glass here; they are mentors and supporters and true members of our local literary community. The Twin Cities is a great place to be a writer.