The WNY Book Arts Center (WNYBAC) hosted a ribbon cutting earlier this week, celebrating the completion of a brand new roof, energy-efficient storefront windows, bold exterior signage, improved ADA access throughout the space, and more. This latest investment into the building, and into the regional book arts hub, helps to create a sound cultural anchor in the heart of downtown Buffalo.
The investments into the property ($300K since it first opened at 468 Washington Street) are thanks to funding from the Dormitory Authority of New York State supported by Senator Sean Ryan, New York Main Street Program administered by Buffalo Place, New York State Council on the Arts, The Western New York Foundation, along with many generous individual donors and supporters.
Investment in Book Arts’ facilities stands as a testament to the undeniable power of art and culture to uplift a community and enhance its revitalization.
“Having been present for some of the initial cleanup of this building and seeing the birth of the Center, I am so pleased and amazed to see this place today. Since that time, Book Arts has grown, expanded what it can offer to the community, and today we can clearly see with this reconstruction phase completion, our physical surroundings representing the maturity of a colorful, bright, and dynamic organization,” says Peter Sowiski, Book Arts Board President and owner of Abaca Press.
The investments into the book arts bucks a national trend that has seen the decline of book reading by the U.S. adult population. WNYBAC is in place to promote all aspects of books, from how they are made, to the importance of books in our everyday lives. The National Endowment for the Arts has reported that there has been a 7% decline in the percentage of the U.S. adult population reading any books over the past decade. If people aren’t picking up books, then they are not appreciating the art of the book.
In Buffalo, there is a growing crusade to get more books into the hands of more readers.
Together with the Central Library, and the new Reading Park, WNYBAC is part of what is now being called Buffalo’s Literary Corridor. This city also benefits from a number of other reading initiatives, including the inventive Reading Invasions that are held outdoors throughout the summer months.
Now, thanks to the latest round of investments into its building, WNYBAC is able to operate at an elevated capacity, which will greatly benefit a printing, binding, publishing, and reading movement that is on its way towards gathering biblical momentum.
For more information on the value of this WNY arts institution, visit www.wnybookarts.org