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2023 Letter

Building more in 2024

Dear FBAC Community,

Try to set aside the fears and sadnesses of the world for a moment to share and enjoy this dream with me: Just over seven years ago Sara Friedman and I sat down to lunch and talked about starting a book arts center in Frederick - something that had been idle talk two years before when we had first met. During Artomatic we found people who understood and shared the dream and together we formed FBAC. While we were making plans for a book arts center, Sara was searching all over Frederick and found the lovely building we have been enjoying these past five years. Everyone agrees the space has been amazing, but she and I both dreamed of something permanent in Frederick with a darkroom and gallery and a real bookbinding space. Soon we will all be able to set foot in this dream book arts center!

You have probably seen the e-mailings Sara has been sending out about the new building so I won’t write more here. And in a few months you will be able to see it for yourself.

 But even the most spectacular space is nothing without community. A first time guest who came to our member event on October 13 remarked on our wonderful community of people at FBAC. And it’s true. Somehow over these five years our center has attracted talented teachers and enthusiastic participants and volunteers and encouragers from afar who help keep us moving forward with art and creativity. After Dafi Kuene came to speak, one of our members confided to me that in fifteen years living in Frederick she never imagined we would have such a cultural resource as FBAC. We have also partnered with over ten different organizations in our five years on various educational and civic-minded initiatives. And there are many more in the works. This all fills me with hope and joy. 

I hope that you feel a part of what it is we are doing at FBAC and I hope you will have a chance to experience it even more in our new space.

Our plan is to make FBAC one of the premier Book Art Centers in the country. And why not? Soon we will have facilities that any instructor will want to come teach in and book artists will be thrilled to use. But: as much as Sara has given with our new building, one person can’t provide us with everything, and it wouldn’t be right, either. We all want to have a piece of investment in FBAC. 

Our annual campaign is also a capital campaign this year as we are need to raise funds for chairs, workbenches, display cabinets, bookshelves, and a second risograph drum so we can print in two colors, but if we go beyond our goal we will use money to pay staff better wages for more hours and to relaunch our youth printing program.  The enclosed flier explains what what wonderful items you might get as tokens of appreciation. Wear your apron in your shop in solidarity with us even if you are 500 miles away just as I like to wear my Hatch Show Apron and know that I am part of a wider community of book artists. 

It’s hard to make something as big as FBAC. I hope we will have a wonderful year ahead of creativity and celebration and I hope you will be a part of that. You will see that we are having a special event in February, a kind of preview of our new home and a party to celebrate and to try it out as a venue for events. Help us out with a generous donation so you can be part of that event: dress up and dance with us! If you can’t make that - our big public ribbon cutting is going to be May 3, 2024 at 3 pm and on May 4 we are going to have our big public grand opening in celebration of Print Day in May! 

Thank you for being a part of FBAC! 

I hope to see you soon, 


Johnny Carrera: Excuative Director/Co-Founder

Some FBAC Partnerships and Accomplishments in the past 5 years
March 22, 2019 we hosted the first of countless public printing events held at FBAC

  • Alive@Five - with Postern and the Downtown FrederickPartnership

  • One Vast Adventure - experimental experience in Frederick

  • MET - Props for Production

  • Book Kits w/ Lucas Village, Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership, Hartley House

  • Frederick Asian American Alliance collaborative workshop

  • Frederick Center - Pride Flag Protect Trans Kids Project

  • Clustered Spires High Wheel Race

  • Carroll Street Creative District

  • Frederick Landmarks Barnstormer Tour 

  • Frederick County Public Libraries - so many collaborations 

  • Lucas Village and Phoenix Academy mentorship program

  • 9 Interns from 4 states 

  • Field trips from elementary school through college and home school

  • Over 200 classes, talks, shows, member events, and special events at FBAC

  • Nov.4 we printed our 5th Ephemeral Newspaper!

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