Donations Sought for Children’s Art Auction

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The 2012 Children’s Art Auction and Reception to benefit the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) and the Kids’ Right to Read Project (KRRP) is expected to draw hundreds of BookExpo America attendees who are fans of illustrated children’s books and supporters of the free speech rights of kids. Last year’s auction, sponsored by the ABC Group at ABA, raised nearly $40,000 to support ABFFE and KRRP’s all-important efforts opposing the censorship of children’s books and authors nationwide.

This year’s event, to be held on Wednesday, June 6, at the Javits Convention Center, will be chaired by award-winning author and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Walter Dean Myers with the help of Christopher Myers, the illustrator of many of his father’s works. Father and son will act as auctioneers during a live segment of the otherwise silent auction.

In a letter urging artists and illustrators to donate to the auction, Myers, one of the country’s most banned authors, wrote: “The code words used to challenge books change, as do the faces of the challengers, but our fellow citizens are still trying to dictate the ideas they will and won’t tolerate. The bottom line is that the America we love needs our support. We have to stand up and be counted. One way you can do it is to contribute your wonderful artwork to the Annual Children’s Art Auction and Reception at BookExpo America.”

ABFFE and KRRP will use the proceeds from the auction to underwrite projects that support freedom of speech for everyone in the children’s book industry. A donation of artwork will ensure that kids can read what they want when they want, no matter where they are. It will also ensure that ABFFE is there to support writers and artists whose books have been challenged.

The auction is also a terrific opportunity for artists and publishers to call attention to both recent and forthcoming illustrated titles through the display of original artwork from those books. This year’s artwork will be put on display in the South Concourse of the Jacob Javits Center during the trade show. In addition, a Flickr slide show of donated art will be created and expanded as donations are received. 

All forms of original artwork, from a sketch on paper to finished work in any medium, are welcome. The preferred size is no larger than 18" x 28" raw, and no framing or matting is necessary.

Artists who are interested in donating to the auction should send an e-mail to ABFFE President Chris Finan to let him know to expect the donation, and then fill out the Artwork Donation Form available here.

Tickets for the auction and reception, on Wednesday evening, June 6, from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., are $95 ($75 for bookseller members of the ABC Children’s Group) and can be purchased here.  A ticket to the event is included in ABC Children’s Institute registration, which is open exclusively to bookstore members of the American Booksellers Association. Tickets for the auction and reception may sell out prior to BookExpo. If not, they can be purchased at the event for $105 ($85 for ABC Children’s Group members).