The Minnesota Center for the book arts has been an exceptional advocate for the field of book arts for 35 years. MCBA’s facilities, programs, and community stimulates and guides conversations across the breadth of the materials and traditions of the book arts, and between the craft of printing and emerging conceptualizations of the book.
From its position as one of three anchors of Open Book, MCBA creates community as a physical space in a historic area of Minneapolis, in collaboration with The Loft Literary Center and Milkweed Editions. MCBA’s studio and classes are essential to passing on to new practitioners in the art of printing and related skills and by challenging traditional notions of the book. MCBA’s awards, fellowships, mentorships, residencies, classes, and exhibitions cultivate learning at all levels—from the best-known book artists to young children. MCBA is extraordinary in its ability to expose new audiences to the printing, papermaking, bookbinding, and craft. The center is embedded deeply in its local community, even while its exhibitions and artist programs influence the field internationally.
MCBA’s mission is “to lead the advancement of the book as an evolving art form.” Its lifelong learning approach enables practitioners and enthusiasts to take part in shaping the future of the book and to gain a deep appreciation for the traditional printing crafts. I would like to nominate the Minnesota Center for the Book Arts for the American Printing History Association’s 2019 Institutional Award, in recognition of its past and present leadership in the field of book arts, and for its substantial contributions to creating greater appreciation for traditional and emerging strengths of the field.