Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Save the Book Art Program at Mills College!

Book art faculty at Mills College recently found out they have just three weeks to gain support and make a case for why the Book Art Program should continue. While other programs at Mills are being compressed, theirs is in serious danger of being completely cut. Julie Chen and Kathy Walkup are working hard to try to save the program and need your help.

If you're here reading this, you are probably already a fan of bookmaking and know that making books brings together math, writing, art, project planning, design, learning and refinement of fine motor hand skills, and so much more. It is a truly interdisciplinary art and craft, not to mention an expressive and creative outlet that contributes to contemporary culture and feeds our souls.

Whether or not you know and appreciate Julie and Kathy's work, if you've taken a class at Mills, know someone who has, or if you support book arts in general, you can begin by signing the online petition posted by Mirabelle Jones. Here at https://www.change.org/p/save-the-mills-college-book-art-program


Letter from Kathleen Walkup regarding the issue: http://thebookartblog.com/a-letter-from-kathleen-walkup-re-mills-book-arts-closure


Addendum (10/29/15): You can also show your support by sending letters and/or email to the Mills administration: President Alecia DeCoudreaux, president@mills.edu; Provost Sharon Washington, swashington@mills.edu; Dean of Letters Ajuan Mance, amance@mills.edu.

Addendum (11/9/15): Update from Julie: The board of trustees is meeting on November 20th to discuss a budget counterproposal that will be presented by the faculty. The deadline for the 2017 budget is December 1st. There is no way to anticipate what the board will decide.

Addendum (11/24/15): Update from Kathy: They remain in limbo, expected to plan for future projects, re-do all of their courses to fit the new credit and core requirements, fight off charges of elitism from some students (they charge a lab fee), and be ready to be told it's all over. Meanwhile, they are asked to guarantee new MFA students for next fall, register new minors, overfill the classes, keep up with the paperwork and "yes, raise a million dollars."

Thank you for reading, and for your support for my colleagues at Mills College.




1 comment:

Ellen said...

I have a friend who went to Mills years ago and studied something completely unrelated to book arts or even art or literature, but still took at least one class related to the program. "I went to Mills! Bookbinding is such a big thing there...," my friend told me years ago. This unique program is such a part of Mills's identity, it's something they should be capitalizing on, not demolishing ... with less than a month's notice! It's such a despicable, shortsighted outrage.