The moving trailer transporting the sketchbooks of the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project caught fire en route from Brooklyn to St. Petersburg, Florida. The fire occurred in Baltimore, Maryland; many of the books suffered damage, but fortunately no one was harmed in the horrific truck fire.
Just this winter, the Brooklyn Art Library announced that it will close its physical location on Frost Street and move its sketchbooks to various curated locations around the country, mobilizing the Sketchbook Project and letting more readers encounter these special works. At the time of last month’s interview, Executive Director of The Sketchbook Project Jenna Carrens said, “Our current prospects include everything from museums to libraries to community centers. We’ll curate books based upon the needs and interests of that particular community we will hold residence in.”
The Brooklyn Art Library released information on the tragic fire in a press release and on Instagram, noting that the heroic help of volunteers, firefighters, and community members from a local church allowed The Sketchbook Project to move each box to safety from the fiery scene.
At this time, the Brooklyn Art Library team estimates that 70% of the Sketchbook Project’s books were salvaged but also noted that some 7,000 books and supplies have been lost in the fire.
The Sketchbook Project has created a fire relief fund on GoFundMe to help rebuild, setting a goal of $50,000. On that fundraiser’s webpage, the Brooklyn Art Library wrote, “We need your help. The loss of each sketchbook is unimaginable, but to lose the spirit of the collection and the mission of the project’s creative community we have spent years cultivating would be even worse. At this devastating moment, we are asking our community to please consider donating to help us right now to rebuild our platform.”