If there is one absolute given in the comics industry, it’s that Annie Koyama is probably the most loved person in that industry.
The publisher of Koyama Press not only puts out some of the most challenging, moving graphic novels in North America, but is known as a generous, kind, helpful, and generally indispensable person behind the scenes.
Sadly Koyama Press will be shutting down in early 2121, but Koyama indicated that she would still be around in some form. And now at least one of those forms has been revealed: Koyama Press Provides, an ongoing series of micro grants. It’s something that Koyama has been doing behind the scenes for a long time, but as she makes her farewell tour, she decided to make it official.
For the next year, we will endeavour to give something each month. This will take multiple forms, such as a membership, a gift certificate, a micro grant, or even advice.
These opportunities will, more often than not, be open to our followers and will be presented across our social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Each month we will use a different platform to give. Our first event is on our fearless leader Annie Koyama’s Facebook page and can be viewed here.
The first Koyama Press Provides event will be giving away 10 Annual Passes to the Art Gallery of Ontario. If you go to the link above and reply to the post with the name of what Koyama Press artist you would like to see hung in the AGO, you’ll be entered into a drawing for the passes.
The offer is open until January 31st although it seems many winners have been chosen.
Koyama was interviewed by Canadian arts magazine Quill & Quire and gave a bit more information:
“The range of gifts will be wide, including, but not limited to: a membership to a cultural institution, covering a mentorship workshop, a book subscription, covering the printing costs of a zine, and more,” Koyama told Q&Q in an email. Some opportunities, she says, will focus on “BIPOC and LGBTQ2 artists and perhaps other underserved communities.” She says she isn’t considering only visual artists, but all arts workers.
Koyama has long been a quiet patron of the arts, but as she moves toward closing her eponymous press in early 2021, she will be focusing on supporting emerging to mid-career creators. “It seemed a good time to make it public as I segue into my new similar venture for 2021,” she says of her charitable efforts.
Others have been inspired to start their own charitable efforts by the Koyama Press Provides announcement.
Honestly, what did we do to deserve Annie Koyama? She is truly worthy of the love that creators and industry personnel have shown for her