Minnesota Center for Book Arts

Minnesota Center for Book Arts

Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) is the largest and most comprehensive independent non-profit book arts center in the United States. Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, MCBA is a nationally recognized leader[1] in the celebration and preservation of traditional crafts including hand papermaking, letterpress printing and hand bookbinding, as well as the use of these traditional techniques by contemporary artists in creating new artists' books and artwork.[2]



MCBA was established in 1983. Two years later it moved to 24 North Third Street on the first floor of the McKesson building in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis. In this space, MCBA established educational, artistic and community programs to introduce book arts to the public and promote appreciation of artists' books, fine press publications, broadsides and other artworks created using book art techniques.[3]

In 2000, MCBA joined fellow founding tenants The Loft Literary Center and Milkweed Editions in establishing Open Book, a center for literary and visual arts, in downtown Minneapolis. The building creates a lively destination for a diverse public interested in books, book arts and literary endeavors of all kinds.[4]

In 2004, MCBA served as a partner in the Walker Art Center's "Walker Without Walls" as a satellite location for No Reading Required, an exhibition of artists' books from the Walker's library collection.[5]


Education programs include: workshops in book art disciplines for adults, teens, teachers, youth and families;[6][7] Book Arts In the Schools custom in-school residencies; and workshops to equip teachers to incorporate book arts into their own classroom curriculum.

Artistic programs include: critically acclaimed exhibitions;[8][9][10][11][12] "By Design" co-op program for teen artists, including education, mentorship and exhibition opportunities;[13] an annual Winter Book publication;[14] artist residencies and competitive fellowships; studio and equipment rental; and an artists cooperative. MCBA also co-sponsors and administers the Minnesota Book Artist Award, granted to one Minnesota book artist in recognition of their body of work and contributions to the book arts community.[15][16]

Community programs include participation in numerous public festivals, fairs and events, as well as Free Family Days at MCBA's studio facilities, designed to provide free art-making opportunities for families and children of all ages. MCBA celebrates Wayzgoose with an annual member and donor appreciation event.

MCBA's facilities also include The Shop at MCBA, which features work for sale on consignment from book artists across the country and around the globe; and the James and Marilynn Alcott Library and Archives.


  1. ^ "Book Smarts" by Jeanne McDowell, Time Magazine, November 11, 2002
  2. ^ "Community of the Book: Minnesota Center for Book Arts". U.S. Library of Congress. 1997. http://www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook/coborg/mcb.html. Retrieved 2008-03-17.  and Gregory, Cynthia L. (April 2004). "Book arts on the Web: An introduction to selected resources" ([dead link]Scholar search). CR&L News (Association of College & Research Libraries) 65 (4). Archived from the original on 2008-02-24. http://web.archive.org/web/20080224093611/http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlpubs/crlnews/backissues2004/april04/bookarts.cfm. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 
  3. ^ "Made By Hand" by Amy Lewis, Format Magazine, January 2000
  4. ^ "Where literature lives: The new Open Book building" by Mary Ann Grossman, St. Paul Pioneer Press, May 7, 2000
  5. ^ "No Reading Required: Artists' Books from the Walker Art Center Library Collection on View at Minnesota Center for Book Arts", Walker Art Center, July 30, 2004
  6. ^ "Handmade and Heartfelt" by Maja Beckstrom, St. Paul Pioneer Press, November 15, 2007
  7. ^ "Book Makers" by Mary Winstead, Minnesota Parent, June 1999
  8. ^ "We, Too, Are Book Artists" by Marianne Combs, Minnesota Public Radio, September 11, 2007
  9. ^ "Black Books" by Mary Abbe, Minneapolis Star Tribune, August 10, 2007
  10. ^ "Beyond Words: Collecting books as art" by Marianne Combs, Minnesota Public Radio, July 25, 2006
  11. ^ "Books Abound" by Liberty Finch, Twin Cities Pulse, November 30, 2005
  12. ^ "Rubber stamp: Office tool or art object?" by Marianne Combs, Minnesota Public Radio, January 22, 2004
  13. ^ "Book arts redefined" by Allie Shah, Minneapolis Star Tribune, December 29, 2006
  14. ^ "Bly's seasoned poems ideal for this year's Winter Book" by Thomas R. Smith, St. Paul Pioneer-Press, December 8, 1999
  15. ^ Friends of the St. Paul Public Library Minnesota Book Awards
  16. ^ "Names, range make up book award finalists" by Sarah Williams, Minneapolis Star Tribune, January 27, 2008

External links

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