BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Western New York Book Arts Center is an arts and educational nonprofit that's dedicated to all things printing and books. It's been located at the corner of Washington and Mowhawk in downtown Buffalo since 2008.
Last Saturday night, during the violence that broke out after the first night of protesting against police brutality in Buffalo, the building's window was damaged. The vandalism prompted an outpouring of support from the community.
Executive Director Nicole Cooke says the organization received lots of calls and messages from people who saw the broken window. She says her message to the community is that while property can be replaced, human lives cannot. As a non-profit dedicated to the history of printing, she says they have a special appreciation for the importance of protest.
"One of the original uses of the printing press was the mass distribution of information, for people to be able to make their own decisions about their government," she explained. "So for us to stand aside and ignore that history would be doing a disservice to the art form. We actually hung posters up on our enclosure, you see a message of hope that says 'keep pressing on,' and that's exactly what we want to say to our community, and we're so thankful for their help in doing so."
Over the last week, more than 85 donors have collected upwards of $4,000 dollars to help the WNY Book Arts Center repair their window. Cooke says they will use any leftover funds to help pay staff salaries throughout the COVID-19 closure.
- Donate to the WNY Book Arts Center: https://wnybookarts.org/donate/
- Shop for handcrafted goods: https://wnybookarts.org/store/
- "Keep Pressing On" poster: https://wnybookarts.org/product/keep-pressing-on-letterpress-print/
- Printing Partners Outreach Program: https://wnybookarts.org/printing-partners/
- Calendar of Upcoming Virtual Workshops https://wnybookarts.org/classes/
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