A respected and dedicated champion of the field, Minnesota Center for Book Arts is the largest and most comprehensive center of its kind.

We celebrate the book as a vibrant contemporary art form that takes many shapes. Our mission is to lead the advancement of the book as an evolving art form.

MCBA is committed to book art, artists and appreciators. Our mission is achieved through quality programs that support a broad continuum of creators, learners and admirers. We lead the field by promoting innovation, sustaining traditions, educating new enthusiasts, inspiring creative expression and honoring artistic excellence. From the traditional crafts of papermaking, letterpress printing and bookbinding to new methods of art-making and communication, MCBA supports the limitless creative development of book arts.

Books and other “contained narratives” have existed for centuries, created through various techniques and taking numerous forms. They chronicled history, celebrated achievements and communicated collective and personal knowledge. Books as multi-faceted and interdisciplinary methods of communication remain relevant. MCBA’s mission supports an important lasting vision: a world where book art is created, cultivated, celebrated, and understood as a vital and lasting expression of culture.


The Collegiate Book Art Association Residency at Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) is an artistic development program that allows early career book artists to deepen their practice while sharing their artistic experience and process with the MCBA community.  One collegiate artist will receive a scholarship valued at $2,000 to attend a 4 week summer residency at MCBA between June and August 2020.  This program is for artists who are enrolled in a degree seeking program and members of the College Book Arts Association. If you are not a member of CBAA, you can register here:  https://www.collegebookart.org/join-now

Applications are open March 16, 2020 - April 30, 2020, 11:59 CTS


With partner support from CBAA, MCBA will host one collegiate book artist for a 4-week residency between June and August 2020. Benefits include:

  • $500 workshop and supply fee stipend
  • $250 residency stipend
  • 24/7 access to MCBA’s book, paper, and print studios
  • Participation in a critique with staff and artist community; and
  • A profile feature in MCBA's e-newsletter


Applicants must be members of the College Book Art Association and currently enrolled in a collegiate program whose primary practice is in book arts.

Applicants must submit the following:

1. Artist Resume (3 page maximum)

2. Artist Bio (300 word maximum)

3. Project Proposal/Letter of Intent (500 word maximum): Applicants are required to submit a realistic proposal that demonstrates applicants vision and how they will utilize MCBA’s studios and equipment. Strong project proposals make a clear connection between work samples and proposed project. 

4. 10 Image Samples: Applicants are required to submit 10 image samples. Images can be detailed images and full scale images. Upload images in the order you would like them to be viewed. Each juror reviews applications individually, one image at a time, on a personal computer monitor. Each file must be under 4MB in size.

Images should be uploaded using the title of their work as the file name. 

For example: Moonprint.jpg


MCBA is the largest book art center in the United States and houses 8 Vandercook proof presses, guillotine cutters, board sheers, 2 hydraulic presses, Valley and Reina paper beaters, an etching press, screenprinting equipment, and much more! Fore a complete list of our studio equipment, click here:  https://www.mnbookarts.org/studiorental/  

*MCBA requires all  persons must have adequate training to work independently in the area(s) they wish to utilize.  If the applicant is proposing to create a broadside using the Vandercook, they must have had proper training prior to using the equipment. We are happy to give a refresh and guidance with our tools and equipment. 


A 3-member jury comprised of MCBA staff and board with artistic experience will select the collegiate artist.  Applicants are evaluated and selected based on the quality of their work as evidenced in submitted materials, with most importance given to work samples and project proposal.

MCBA is particularly interested in hosting collegiate book artists who integrate social and environmental themes within their practice. Artists with diverse perspectives and lived experiences are strongly encouraged to apply.

Artist Collective Membership

Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) is a nonprofit visual arts center dedicated to leading the advancement of the book as an evolving art form. MCBA is committed to fostering a creative community of book artists and appreciators. We lead the field by promoting innovation, sustaining traditions, educating new enthusiasts, inspiring creative expression, and honoring artistic excellence. 

MCBA provides critical studio access through its Artist Collective, comprised of dedicated artists working in papermaking, paper marbling, letterpress printing, screen printing, bookbinding, and related arts. Artists must have sufficient training to work independently and safely in the studio areas they wish to utilize. Through this program, members have access to clean and well-maintained artist studios, rare equipment, exhibition opportunities, and participation in an eclectic community of fellow artists

· 24-hour access to the MCBA studios and library

· Preferred press access on Open Studio nights

· On-site storage: one shelf and one locker

· The opportunity to show work in the annual Artist Collective exhibition in MCBA’s Main Gallery

· The opportunity to participate in Art-Share sessions with MCBA staff and Artist Collective members

· 70/30 consignment-split on accepted work in The Shop at MCBA

· 50% discount on MCBA workshops (by registering two weeks in advance of a workshop’s start date; Artist Collective members still pay full supply fee)

Artist Collective Monthly Membership Rates 



  • To foster the future of the field, MCBA offers a discounted rate on Artist Collective membership for degree-seeking college students and recent graduates of university programs. Dues are $115 per month for degree-seeking students and recent graduates for up to five years after graduation.  

SHORT TERM MEMBERSHIP: A limited number of short-term memberships (minimum of three months to a maximum of five months) may be available, based on studio capacity. Short-term membership dues are $195 per month. Member cannot defer during short term membership. 

ARTIST COLLECTIVE FELLOWSHIPS: The Artist Collective Fellowship offers studio space and membership in MCBA’s Artist Collective for one year in exchange for providing support and helping to maintain the studios during our Open Studio program. Open Studios are held every Tuesday from 4-9 pm, and provide artists with regular, low-cost access to our studios and equipment outside of workshops and classes. Four selected fellows will work each Tuesday from 6-9 pm, totaling 12-15 hours per month. In exchange, Fellows receive 24/7 studio access, a shelf and a locker, and the opportunity to show work in the Artist Collective exhibition. 

Artist Collective Fellowship Positions:


Screen Print



Exhibitions/Artist Programs

Contact MCBA's Exhibitions and Artist Programs Manager at Terin@mnbooks.org with any questions about membership guidelines, fees, or benefits.


The MCBA Prize, presented by Minnesota Center for Book Arts, promotes excellence in new work from across the expressive spectrum of book art. Established in 2009, this biennial award is meant to represent the diversity of approaches to book art, honoring one winner and four finalists for their unity of form, material, and content. Book art, broadly defined, includes work that embodies narrative, instruction, reference, mapping, guides, documentation, and more. It is work that engages the viewer and propels the experience forward through narrative, sequencing, spatial elements, visual or verbal language, temporal, mechanical, aural, typographic, symbolic or material means.

The 2020 competition coincides with MCBA’s 35th anniversary and will be celebrated with finalist awards and an exhibition of artwork by 20-30 selected semi-finalists.

Exhibition and Awards

MCBA Prize Award Winner
Winner will receive:

  • $2000 cash prize
  • Essay written by acclaimed curator Betty Bright
  • Travel stipend to attend the opening reception & artist/curator talk  in Minneapolis.

If applicable, the winner will receive a travel stipend and hotel  accommodation to attend the opening reception.


Four finalists will each receive a $500 cash prize.


Curator Betty Bright will select 20-30 artworks for the exhibition in MCBA’s Main Gallery.

People’s Book Art Award

Throughout the duration of the exhibition, the public is invited to vote for the People’s Book Art Award both online and in person. Ballots will be tallied at the end of the exhibition and the winner will receive a $500 cash prize.

Selection Process: 

In each biennial competition, integrity — a unity of form, materials, and content that reflects an artist’s vision — is a determining factor in the winning works. The juror considers the breadth of artistic practices among artists, which include a wide range of media, aesthetics, and traditions that might be influenced by ethnicity, gender, and geography. They will view the digital artwork remotely, selecting 20-30 semi-finalists for an exhibition in the Main Gallery at MCBA. 

Our juror for the 2020 MCBA Prize is Betty Bright. Betty Bright is a writer, curator and historian who specializes in the contemporary art of the book. She helped to start Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) in 1985, and authored No Longer Innocent: Book Art in America 1960-1980 in 2005. Past involvements include speaking at CODEX (2017), the international biannual book arts fair and symposium; her talk was titled, “Lines of Force: The Hand, The Book, & the Body Electric,” and was later published in the monograph series, CODE(X) + 1.

Currently Bright is co-curating (with Jeff Thomas) Reclamation: Artists’ Books on the Environment, a juried exhibition with catalogue that will open in 2021 at San Francisco Center for the Book and San Francisco Public Library. She is also a contributor to Materialia Lumina, to be published in 2020 by Stanford University, a collection of essays on the seventy-five best books in Stanford’s collections that were acquired from the CODEX book fairs. 

Submission Guidelines:

  • Submissions must be book art created between 2018 and 2020
  • Applicants must pay a $35 fee for each artwork submitted
  • The primary impetus for the creation of the work must come from the vision and active participation of the artist or artistic collaborators
  • Forms, processes, traditions and approaches to book art are open: 

Artwork can be unique or editioned unique book objects, altered books, traditional codex, graphic novels, zines, concrete poetry, conceptual, visual, and literary works. The finished work can depart from a bound book format to engage metaphors of the book in sculpture or installation. 

  • Journals, diaries, scrapbooks, blank books, film, video, related works on paper (broadsides, prints, photographic portfolios) will not be considered for this award unless they are integral to the installation that embodies qualities that describe Book Art.
  • Applicants must create an account for their online application with Submittable.  If you already have an account, once you sign in you will be taken directly to the application. If you have any issues logging into Submittable, please contact their customer service directly.

All applications must include the following:

  1. Completed Entry/Contact information form.
  2. Up to 5 image samples of the artwork submitted: Images must be in JPEG or JPG format, 300 DPI, 1200 pixels or greater on the largest side. Individual files should not exceed 5 MB.
  3. Additional PDF (optional): For artists work that involves text that is unreadable in the images submitted, there is an option to upload an additional PDF. The PDF attachment should supplement, not replace or extend, the ten still images. Therefore any work referenced in the PDF must be indicated by at least one still image in the sequence of 5. 


June 1, 2020


September 18, 2020
Exhibition opens to the public

October 23, 2020 6:30–9pm
Exhibition opening reception
and artist/curator talk

January 10, 2021
Exhibition closes

Minnesota Center for Book Arts invites teaching artists who practice letterpress printing, papermaking, paper decoration, bookbinding, screen printing, design, and related arts to submit proposals for workshops.

MCBA offers workshops in three sessions each year: Winter (Jan-Apr), Summer (May-Aug), and Fall (Sep-Dec). We accept proposals three times a year with deadlines for each session occurring about four months prior to the start of the session. The deadline to submit workshop proposals for Fall 2020 is April 26th. 

Please note: If submitting multiple workshops, feel free to use shortcuts when submitting subsequent proposals such as "see previous proposal" for fields requesting contact information, website, and bios.

What we're looking for:
We are always looking for new, inventive, and diverse proposals for workshops. Workshops are selected based on current programmatic needs, while seeking to cover a variety of core book-related processes for a range of learners from beginner to seasoned practitioner. 

Feel free to reach out prior to writing a proposal by emailing abredeson@mnbookarts.org (adult workshops) and sdeweese@mnbookarts.org (youth/family workshops), with a title and description of your workshop.

  • Workshops for adults (18+) on weekday evenings and weekends that vary in duration (anywhere from 2-18 hours). There is demand for short (2-6 hours), project-based workshops for beginners. There is also interest in advanced workshops that introduce new, specialized techniques. Past participants have expressed interest in the following topics: zines, sculptural book structures, sculptural techniques in papermaking, unique bindings, interdisciplinary workshops, making artists' books, book and page design, leather binding and tooling, book preservation and repair, and calligraphy.
  • Dirty Works (18+) workshops that are 2-hrs on Friday nights. These workshops are project-based and focus on beginners.
  • Workshops for youth (ages 6-8, 9-12, 13-17) during school holidays (i.e. Minnesota Educator Academy, Presidents' Day). These workshops should be a full day in length to offer childcare and should keep breaks and movement in mind.
  • Workshops for families on weekend afternoons. Workshops with seasonal themes do well with our audiences, and 2 or 3 hours is an ideal length.

Minnesota Center for Book Arts invites teaching artists to submit proposals for live, virtual workshops that focus on process, connection, and creativity. We're specifically interested in short workshops (2 hours) that use materials participants can source from their living spaces and grocery stores.

Ideas for topics to consider: 

  • printmaking and papermaking techniques in the kitchen
  • books made from cardboard boxes, objects from nature, and other found materials
  • strategies for developing an artistic practice and developing content
  • projects that focus on connecting with others by sending art in the mail (either exchanges or sending art to those who are particularly isolated) or creating art in neighborhoods

Please feel free to reach out to Anna Bredeson (abredeson@mnbookarts.org) with ideas and questions before submitting a proposal.

Minnesota Center for Book Arts