A Brief Overview

In 2015, with help from the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s Inspire Giving Award, 916 Ink opened the one-of-a-kind “Imaginarium.” Designed to inspire creativity and shift any individual who walks through its doors into a mindset of curiosity, this bastion of whimsy hosts 916 Ink workshops, field trips, summer creative writing camps, and community meetings.

Located within the Maple Neighborhood Center in what used to be the library of a formerly shuttered elementary school, the Imaginarium also seeks to bring a beautiful space to the historically marginalized neighborhood in South Sacramento.


The Imaginarium is a creative writing palace that transports Sacramento youth into creativity. The design of the room is balanced with the need to take youth out of their everyday environment with the need for young writers to simultaneously see themselves within the space. By bringing the outside indoors and using whimsical décor to create a wondrous space, imaginations are sparked and curiosity is ignited. Pictures of youth authors are displayed on the walls alongside inspirational quotes which draw in youth, allowing them to feel that they belong. The enlarged resin images of well-known authors on the outside of the building, like Sandra Cisneros and Jacqueline Woodson, show off various cultures and literary genres. This display of representation is an important factor in welcoming youth into the space as well.

In addition, the prompt wall also serves the dual purposes of fantasy and relatability. Tangible prompts kept in interesting jars, tins, and suitcases are used to inspire during writing workshops. The prompt wall is meant for a writer to easily grab an object, whether familiar or foreign, and use it as the starting point for their written work. The accessibility of the prompts is as important as accessibility of the location, which was purposefully set in South Sacramento in order to be central to the low-income youth 916 Ink aims to serve.

Finally, the layout of the Imaginarium was designed to follow the steps of the 916 Ink method of writing as you walk through it. You begin where imagination is sparked and writing begins, the aforementioned prompt wall, a large bookcase filled with our library of images and objects used for writing prompts. Next, a display of framed phrases encapsulate the positive feedback guidelines that are expected during the sharing portion of the workshop, a pivotal piece of the 916 Ink Method. A display of vintage typewriters surrounding a sculpture of our fictional Publisher Mistah Complaina represents the revision stage, where literacy skills are built through encouragement and exploration rather than red pen. Lastly, a spread of all 100+ 916 Ink publications concludes the tour, representing the final stage of a 916 Ink workshop: publication and celebration.

Bring your Class to the Imaginarium!

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916 Ink offers a 3.5 hour creative writing field trip experience for grades K-12 in our Imaginarium creative writing space located at 3301 37th Avenue, Sacramento, CA.

Students will enter the 916 Ink Imaginarium where they will explore a world designed to excite and inspire their creative resources.

After a brief orientation about 916 Ink and its methodologies, students will embark on a journey through the creative process, ending as they transform into published authors.

During the first portion of their visit, students will learn the elements of poetry by way of a group creative writing prompt designed to tap into their imaginations. Students will have the opportunity to share their contribution to a final group poem with their peers in a positive environment, free of criticism.

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After the first 90 minutes of programming, students will break for a sack lunch (weather permitting in our picnic area/writer’s garden).

During the second portion of the field trip, students will learn the elements of story by way of a group creative writing prompt encouraging them to write a piece of fiction together. They will also begin the final stages of becoming a published author.

With the aid of the 916 Ink Wordslinger and Inspirators, students will be walked through the revision process as they get a piece as perfect for publication as possible.

Teachers will be present but not required to participate during the workshop, a workspace will be made available for teacher use while the students participate in the program. Additional chaperones will not be required for this field trip.

One month after the field trip, 916 Ink staff will arrive at the school with copies of their anthology. Each published author receives TWO FREE COPIES of the zine (staple-bound book). The school-site will receive five copies.

Request a Rental


Want to use the Imaginarium for your event? 916 Ink is happy to accommodate your organizations needs to make it an absolute blast! Below is some essential information about pricing and capacity, then fill out a form to request a booking:

The Imaginarium has a maximum capacity of 90 guests with provided furniture:
36 seated at tables
45 seated lecture style
70-90 standing reception

Rental rates are on a sliding scale to allow increased community access:
Nonprofits: $10 an hour
Community Events: $12 an hour
Writing Groups or Book Clubs: $15 an hour
Private Parties: $25 an hour
Corporate Events: $50 an hour

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