Edel Rodriguez
Auction to benefit Behind the Book
A few months ago I posted some photos from a school visit in Brooklyn through a group called Behind the Book.  You can read that story here.
Behind the Book is having a silent auction at the Society of Illustrators at the end of October to benefit their work with students in NYC public schools.   The image at right is a rough color sketch of the art I'm contributing.  The organization is looking for illustrators to donate work which will be put up for auction at the Society of Illustrators next month.  The images will also be printed and laminated as bookmarks for use by children in NYC public shools.  If you'd like to contribute a piece of art, please read the information letter below.  Thanks.
Dear Illustrators:

Behind the Book is pleased to announce our fall 2007 benefit to be held at The Society of Illustrators on Monday, October 22, at 6:00pm. We have specifically timed our event so that attendees can tour The Society's 27th annual exhibition: “The Original Art 2007,” which celebrates the fine art of children's book illustration.

Behind the Book's mission is to excite children and young adults about reading. Working with low-income students in New York City K-12 public schools, we bring authors and their books into individual classrooms to build literacy skills and a new generation of book readers. We do this by working closely with teachers to select authors and illustrators whose work will both resonate with students and match their capabilities, as well as meet curriculum needs. For example, young students participate in art-and-writing workshops involving one to two authors and illustrators meeting with students four to six times; students create original work like illustrated books, graphic novels, and newspapers. In addition, every book students read in our program is theirs to keep; for younger children, it is often their very first book.

As our work with children celebrates how visual images bring the written word to life, we are planning a silent auction that showcases the fine art of illustration in the form of bookmarks. We hope that you will contribute by creating a bookmark for auction. Its shape, size, content, and design is yours to interpret. Existing signed artwork is also welcome.

Artwork/bookmarks need to be completed and delivered to Behind the Book by October 6. Please forward all inquiries and intention to contribute a piece of art to Jo Umans, Executive Director of Behind the Book, at

Please send the bookmarks to:

Jo Umans
Behind the Book
145 West 96th Street, Suite 1E
New York, NY 10025

Illustrators who have agreed to contribute bookmarks include Brian Selznick, Colin Bootman, Brian Pinkney, Mo Willems, Marc Tauss, Edel Rodriguez, and Marthe Jocelyn. We hope that you will consider contributing your time and talent as well. The funds raised through the silent auction will go directly to Behind the Book programs in NYC public schools.

When 60% of students in grades 3-8 read below grade level, a literacy organization like Behind the Book speaks directly to a basic need to get kids excited about reading.
To make reading something more than schoolwork - to make reading something kids want to do. Behind the Book does exactly that by creatively engaging students with the written word. Your participation in our fall benefit would help us succeed in bringing our programs into more classrooms, and putting more books like yours into students' hands.

Jeff Stockwell and Ruth Ades
Co-Chairs, Fall 2007 Benefit Committee
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