Center for Book and Paper Arts Awarded $50,000 NEA Grant


Grant from National Endowment for the Arts to Fund Digital Presentation of Artists’ Books

CHICAGO (May 15, 2012) — The Center for Book and Paper Arts (CPBA) at Columbia College Chicago is one of 78 not-for-profit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Arts in Media grant. The Center, part of the college’s Interdisciplinary Arts Department, received a $50,000 grant to produce mobile tablet apps representing existing artists’ books, and to commission new works in digital media with material counterparts.

The CPBA project, Expanded Artists’ Books: Envisioning the Future of the Book, aims to widen the audience for the under-represented art form, the artist’s book, while encouraging the creation of new work by artists in other media. The project will address the primary challenges of both book art and media art, allowing book art to become more accessible through electronic distribution and media art to gain longevity by creating a physical representation of an electronic work in book form.

“The Center for Book and Paper Arts will be able to create a sustainable new publishing platform for the presentation of a vastly under-represented art form,” said Steve Woodall, director of the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College. “It will enable artists to explore relationships between traditional and new media, and it has the potential to greatly expand the audience for book art.”

The NEA received 329 eligible applications under the Arts in Media category, requesting more than $36 million in funding. The 78 Arts in Media grant awards total $3.55 million with an average grant amount of $45,513, and support the development, production, and national distribution of innovative media projects about the arts and media projects that can be considered works of art. A complete listing of projects recommended for Arts in Media grant is available at the NEA website,

The Center for Book and Paper Arts was created within the Interdisciplinary Arts Department at Columbia College Chicago in 1993. Its mission is to advance the interdisciplinary practices of the artist’s book and hand papermaking through support of academic programs and research, and to engage the public through publications, exhibitions, lectures, workshops, symposia, and events.

Columbia College Chicago is an urban institution that offers innovative degree programs in the visual, performing, media and communication arts to nearly 12,000 students in over 120 undergraduate and graduate programs. An arts and media college committed to a rigorous liberal arts curriculum, Columbia is dedicated to opportunity and excellence in higher education. For further information, visit