Here at Boxcar Press we love hearing stories of letterpress doing good! We were honored when asked to donate our photopolymer plates to a letterpress printing project headed by the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle. The School of Visual Concepts teamed up with Seattle Arts and Lectures through their Writers in the School’s program. Working with a local children’s hospital they planned to create poetry broadsides with children who are terminally ill. We were privileged to be included and gladly donated our photopolymer plates. It’s an amazingly moving project (try reading over the poetry and keeping your eyes dry), and it reminds us of how cool the letterpress community is, and what great things we can all accomplish together.
The children wrote poems as part of a legacy project. The poems were printed as letterpress broadsides and included in a portfolio. Everyone pitched in on this project, from 12 letterpress printers volunteering their time, Mohawk Papers donated the paper, and a book cloth company (Ecological Fibers) donated materials for creating the actual portfolio.
Each child’s family will receive several copies and the others will be distributed to local children’s groups and hospitals to be auctioned off as a fundraiser. There is a limited edition of 75 on each.
Many thanks to all who were involved: Seattle Arts & Lectures,Â Seattle Children’s Hospital, School of Visual Concepts, Mohawk Fine Papers, Puget Bindery, Ecological Fibers, Boxcar Press.
We recently contributed pro bono printing to a really great cause supporting the nearby Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. Designed by our good friend Tara Hogan of Ink + Wit, we were honored to be a part of this great collaboration.
Tara shares, “I first met Jenny Brown, founder of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in 2008 at the Bust Holiday Craftacular in Manhattan. Anyone that knows Jenny will tell you she loves herself some craft fairs! Jenny stopped by my booth not knowing that I was devoted to yoga nor did I know she was a yogi herself and animal lover. But, we quickly clicked and found out we share the same interests. I had been thinking about working with a farm sanctuary for a while to help raise money for the animals. At that time, Jenny and the farm had a goal to build a separate medical facility to operate and treat the animals. They had been working in very small quarters for some time.
I came up with an idea to design a limited editionÂ letterpress print for them. Printed by Pistachio Press, 50 prints were given to the farm for full profit and the rest sold by INK+WIT with 5% donated to the farm. WFAS also made the designÂ into an organic cotton t-shirt with 100% profit donated.
WFAS has since built their medical facility made possible by the donations of many giving people. They continue to support the animals and hold various event with artists like Moby, Chrissie Hynd, and many more. They hold jamborees and wonderful opportunities to visit and help out on the farm. They have my heart and then some. Recently, I was asked by Jenny to take the existing print and shirt design and create a letterpress folded note card they could mail to their donors. Boxcar Press generously donated their time and energy to print the card and they turned out beautiful. Thank you Boxcar for helping a very great cause so close to my heart!”
Thank you, Tara, for allowing us to be a part of this great project. We admire everything Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary is doing and are happy to do our part to help out!
One of the things that give us great satisfaction over here at Boxcar Press is doing pro bono letterpress printing for causes that we believe in. Are there other letterpress shops doing the same sort of thing – donating their printing skills to help individuals/nonprofits/the world? If you’re a letterpress shop who does pro bono work, drop us an email or leave a comment to this post and we’d love to feature you on a future blog post.
This is our latest pro bono job for the Nest, a cool nonprofit who gives micro-credit loans to women artists in developing countries. They’re funded in part by products sold on their web site (some letterpress products there too!). We donated the printing of a Valentine’s day card for them to send out to potential donors and a donation card. The interior of the card reads, “The life I touch for good will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.” (Frederick Buechner).
The Nest sent over these sweet mugs for everyone in our print shop as a way of saying thanks. In addition to being the most cheerful red, these mugs have also proven a favorite of the Boxcar Toddler, who refuses to use sippy cups, but prefers a sophisticated travel mug instead.
(Also note, if you have a line of letterpress cards, try selling your work on the Nest! They have gotten great publicity – including a mention by Oprah!. It’s kind of like etsy, though you donate a % of your sale to Nest. The designer application is here.)