This video, produced by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, is in conjunction with a recent, three-year $75,000 grant to support the Center's current capacity building initiatives.
Here is how the Rockefeller Brothers Fund describes the Center:
For over 33 years, the Center for Book Arts has challenged the public to think outside the box of what a book is and can be - to see books as more than just repositories of words, but as works of art.
The Center for Books Arts was founded in 1974 as the first not-for-profit organization in the U.S. dedicated to preserving the traditional craft of bookmaking and to promoting contemporary interpretations of the book as an art object. Today, the Center is a dynamic working studio, where artists and writers from across New York City and the United States, as well as from around the world, can experiment, collaborate, and learn.
A commitment to the development of artists and writers infuses every facet of the Center's work. The Center offers over 100 courses, workshops, and seminars in all aspects of the bookmaking process, in addition to exhibitions, studio rental, and an annual Poetry Chapbook Competition. Its Artist-in-Residence program provides New York-based emerging artists with 24-hour access to facilities and equipment, individual studio space, and admission to an unlimited number of the Center's classes. These resources enable artists from diverse backgrounds to experiment with the book art process and apply it to their own work. As Executive Director Alexander Campos explained, "People will be seeing artwork and also making it at the same time. The work that they saw will inform what they can do. What they do will inform what they produce. That is really what makes the Center exciting and thriving."
Since 1974, the Center has mounted over 175 exhibitions featuring more than 5,000 artists, and collected over 500 art objects and 300 limited edition publications. Starting in 2008, the organization plans to move on to its next stage of development by systematizing its collections documentation and management and implementing new marketing and fundraising strategies. With these initiatives, the Center for Book Arts will continue to have a major impact on the artistic community, both locally and globally, by fostering a vital space for creative exchange.