Winners of the 2018 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries announced
For Immediate Release
Graphic Novels & Comics Member Initiative Group
American Library Association
CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation will honor the two winners of the 2018 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries Saturday onsite at the ALA 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA. The grants, funded by the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation, are administered by ALA's Games and Gaming Round Table and the Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries Member Initiative Group.
The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries consists of two annual grants. The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grant provides support to a library that would like to expand its existing graphic novel services and programs and the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant provides support to a library for the initiation of a graphic novel service, program or initiative.
The 2018 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grant is awarded to the Kraemer Family Library, University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS), Colorado Springs, CO. For their project “Through the Eyes of Veterans: A Community Collaboration” they will partner with the Colorado Springs Bemis School of Art’s Military Artistic Healing for Active Duty & Veterans program on a series of creative workshops for veterans at UCCS and from the greater community. They also plan on growing their graphic novel collection that speaks to the needs of their diverse student body including veterans and active duty military students.
The 2018 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant is presented to the Tuscarawas County Public Library System, New Philadelphia, OH. Their project "IllustrateHER: Empowering Girls through Visual Storytelling and Multimodal Reading” aims to motivate girls in grades 3-12 to enhance their media literacy skills, further develop their emotional intelligence, and discover new ways to engage with literature while reading female-driven graphic novels. In addition to adding graphic novel titles that are geared towards females or written by female graphic novelists to the library’s locations, they will host an art contest encouraging young artists to create a female character they’d like to see in a graphic novel and an author workshop that will be geared towards young women focusing on graphic novel illustration.
Each of the grants awards the winning libraries with a $2,000 voucher to purchase graphic novels from the distributor-partner – Diamond Book Distributors, $1,000 to host a graphic novel-themed event, and a $1,000 travel stipend to attend the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Additionally the winners will receive the Will Eisner Library (a graphic novel collection of Will Eisner’s work and biographies about the acclaimed writer and artist) and copies of the graphic novels nominated for this year’s Will Eisner Awards at San Diego Comic-Con.
Valerie Acklin, of Bellmore Memorial Library and past recipient of an Eisner Grant as well as member of the 2018 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grant jury said, “In their ability to bridge educational and social divides, and with an unparalleled popularity among readers of all ages and backgrounds, graphic novels are an essential component of any modern library. The ALA Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries provide the essential support to build meaningful collections and provide engaging programs that highlight the format’s power to create connections between communities and cultures.”
Nancy and Carl Gropper of the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation added: “Our heartfelt congratulations to this year’s winning ALA Growth and Innovative grant recipients. The inspirational projects chosen by The Kraemer Family Library of the University of Colorado and the Tuscarawas County Public Library System of New Philadelphia, Ohio, both innovative and diverse, align beautifully with the long- held beliefs about comic art embraced by Will Eisner. We can only imagine how very pleased he would be. Our thanks to the jury members for their tireless work, and to all who applied for their resourceful, thoughtful participation.”
More information on the grant and the application process can be found on the ALA website.
About The Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation
The Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation fosters innovation and creativity in graphic literature, sequential art and comics. It encourages others to continue and build upon the legacy of Will Eisner, who broke new ground in the development of visual narrative and the language of comics. Will Eisner is best known for being the creator of The Spirit comic, for developing comics for education and training, and for writing the first modern graphic novel. For more information about Will Eisner visit www.willeisner.com.
Established in 1876, the American Library Association (ALA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization created to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.