In the spring of 2010, a few people gathered at Sebastopol Center for the Arts (SCA) to explore the idea of a town-wide event to “celebrate book arts.” The idea soon grew from “let’s have it over a weekend” to a two-month “festival” of multiple, interconnected events “all for the love of books” involving SCA, Copperfield’s Books, Iota Press, the Sebastopol Library, and area businesses.
The initial concept had been sparked by the Sebastopol Economic Summit of 2009, where a challenge was thrown: “What can each of you do to stimulate the local economy?” That spark fired a vision contributed to by many artists, writers, book lovers, representatives of big and small businesses and nonprofit organizations, and community volunteers. This mural from an envisioning with event organizers in May of 2010 is a dream of what could be and of what came to be in the summer of 2011.
Though some of what the organizing group hoped to accomplish wasn’t realized, most and more of it was. The “festival” that evolved into Bibliophoria~ Celebrate Book Arts! took place in June & July 2011 in Sebastopol and included Bibliophoria II, a national juried exhibition of artists books, Copperfield’s Books’ 30th Anniversary party and events, a town “book arts” tour following a trail from traditional letterpress to leading-edge digital, letterpress printing workshops, fine book and book binding exhibits, youth book camp, children’s book writers conference, library events for children and teens, a teen writing contest with winners’ entries read by actors on KRCB radio, a mobile letterpress studio at the Sebastopol Farmers Market, events and exhibits at local merchants, and more.
If we can dream it, we can see it. If we can see it, we can make it happen. Going forward, there may be other Bibliophoria events throughout the seasons—hosted by individuals, businesses, and organizations—and possibly another large celebration down the road. It’s all for the love of books and the encouragement of a vital literary and artistic community and thriving local economy.
Thanks to everyone who participated in Bibliophoria to make it a success this summer!