Monthly Archives: January 2013


FRIDAY: Word Up’s book wagon at the Center for Book Arts

winter shows invite 2

The Word Up Collective is pleased to take part in an exhibition at Center for Book Arts, via our book wagon made by Emcee C.M., Master of None. The opening reception is this Friday, January 18 @ 6pm, and a public talk featuring Word Up will take place on Saturday, March 30 @ 2pm.

Opening Reception for
The Center for Book Arts’ Winter Exhibitions 

When: Friday, January 18, 2013, 6-8pm
Where: 28 W. 27 St., 3rd Floor, New York, NY
Subway: N/R to 28 St., or F to 23 St.
Admission: Free

The opening reception for the winter exhibitions at the Center for Book Arts is Friday, January 18 at 6pm. Admission to the Center’s galleries is free and open to the public.

Brother, Can You Spare a Stack?
Organized by Yulia Tikhonova

Brother, Can You Spare a Stack? presents thirteen important socially engaged and performative art projects that adopt, as a model for their interventions, the symbolic and practical role of the Library and the Librarian. Working outside conventional gallery settings, and deeply committed to serving and inspiring local communities, they pursue a shared vision of the Library as a force for social change.

Small and mobile, these projects resist the limitations of a controlled, highly organized system that governs our society. The artists in this exhibit employ their own hands-on craft skills to respond to the current state of the public library system. They design and build from scratch, using the Library as model, to create an interactive field. In these libraries, there is an exchange that goes beyond the conventional checking-in-and-out of books, one that includes conversation, discussion and group activities. Hence, the artists’ libraries have been enthusiastically welcomed by communities that have previously lacked these more personal and generous forms of exchange.

The exhibit borrows its title from one of the best-known American songs of the Great Depression. These mobile and interactive projects challenge old-fashioned library stereotypes – calling on them to “lend their stacks” to these alternative models. They insert themselves into the most unexpected situations and spaces, in this case libraries, to propose social and cultural improvement.

The exhibition includes: Arlen Austin and Jason Boughton; Brett Bloom and Bonnie Fortune; Stephen Boyer; BroLab (Rahul Alexander, Jonathan Brand, Adam Brent, Ryan Roa, and Travis LeRoy Southworth); Valentina Curandi and Nathaniel Katz; Finishing School with Christy Thomas; Anna Lise Jensen and Michael Wilson; Jen Kennedy and Liz Linden; The K.I.D.S. with Word Up Collective, Eyelevel BQE, Launchpad, NURTUREart, Weeksville Heritage Center, and individual partners, as well as with Emcee C.M., Master of None; Annabel Other; Reanimation Library; The Sketchbook Project; and Micki Watanabe Spiller.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue.

Permanent Collection Spotlight: An Ode to Libraries
To complement the main gallery exhibition, artworks that repurpose library systems and materials from the Center’s Collection will be on display. Featuring artwork by Bureau for Open Culture; Dexter Sinister; Stephen Gan, Cecilia Dean, and James Kaliardos; Bruce McLean, SKART, Tom Trusky, Sam Winston, among others.

All exhibitions are on view through March 30, 2013.
Visit our website for up-to-date details:  


The Center for Book Arts is committed to exploring and cultivating contemporary aesthetic interpretations of the book as an art object, while invigorating traditional artistic practices of the art of the book. The Center seeks to facilitate communication between the book arts community and the larger spheres of contemporary art and literature through exhibitions, classes, public programming, literary presentations, opportunities for artists and writers, publications, and collecting. Founded in 1974, the Center for Book Arts was the first organization of its kind in the nation.


A great start to 2013

We’ve been taking several deep, luxurious breaths since the end of our Indiegogo campaign, which ended with the final online count of $60,252 on January 1. With offline donations, we reached over $65,000. And we have no fewer than 800 amazing funding supporters to thank for this good news.

SandyABCArt McFarland, education reporter for ABC News, interviewed us soon after the campaign ended. Click on the image above to see the video clip that played on the nightly news!

Also big thanks to New York Daily NewsUptown Collective, Melville House, and DNAinfo for coverage and good wishes!

We are narrowing down our space options and will come a decision very, very soon. In the meantime, look out for events coming up in future posts.

Thank you!!!!!!!

(And still w/ 10 hours left to get in on the action and be a part of our neighborhood’s story – see and claim your perks before the Indiegogo site turns off the green bar!) Thanks everyone for supporting Word Up!!!



THIS IS IT! Today is the last day of our Indiegogo campaign, which we launched to raise money to bring back Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria to a physical storefront in Washington Heights. We’ve gone on a great journey with you here on the Internet—reading and writing . . . making and sharing videos . . . walking the wagon . . . dancing. But, what we really want to do is sit down with you in a space all our own—yours, mine, ours—’round the corner from where we both live, and share our past, present, and future, with books as the gravitational pull but hardly stopping there. Please join the Word Up story on this last day of our Indiegogo campaign. With the end of this campaign, we start anew.