About the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grant for Libraries - Innovation Grant
The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant provides support to a library for the initiation of a graphic novel service, program or initiative. This Grant will encourage public awareness on the rise and importance of graphic literature, sequential art, and comics as a literary medium. The objective of the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries is to facilitate library-generated programs and services that will promote graphic novels to library patrons and to the local community.Will Eisner (1917-2005) was an acclaimed American comics writer, artist, teacher, and entrepreneur. He is considered one of the most important contributors to the development of sequential art (a term he coined) and is known for the cartooning studio he founded; for his highly influential comic series, The Spirit; for his use of comics as an instructional medium; for his leading role in establishing the graphic novel as a form of literature with his 1978 groundbreaking graphic novel, A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories; for his 20 years of teaching at the School of Visual Arts, leading to his three textbooks. In a career that spanned nearly seven decades—from the dawn of the comic book to the advent of digital comics—Will Eisner was truly the “Father of the Graphic Novel.”
Birchwood School Library
Columbia, South Carolina
Birchwood School is a school for students, grades 6 – 12, in the South Carolina (SC) Department of Juvenile Justice Special School District (SCDJJ). The current student population consists of 110 SC youth that have been adjudicated for one or more criminal offenses. Recognizing the potential of graphic novels for helping students meet standards, in 2012, Birchwood faculty collaborated with two professors in the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at the University of South Carolina, and a graphic illustrator, to help students create a graphic novel on HIV/AIDS. Their Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant project "Our Story Told Through Graphic Illustrations: The View from Behind the Fence” is a collaborative effort between two professors from the University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science and the Birchwoord School in the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice. The aim is to provide incarcerated youth with a unique opportunity to develop visual literacy skills and an awareness of careers in the visual arts.