First Read + Seed Success Story: “When Artists Become Heroes”

With financial support via Read + Co’s inaugural Read + Seed program, Edmonton’s Drawn to Books hosted the “Drawn to Write” creator camp in August 2020. This event awarded scholarships to four burgeoning young artists between the ages of nine to eighteen, focussing on promoting creative and inspiring ways kids can engage with their communities. During three full-day sessions — yes, even in the midst of a pandemic! — instructors coached participants on comic book creation, writing, art, storytelling, elevator pitches, and how to promote themselves as artists, all while adhering to safety measures and observing social distancing protocols.

Photos by Tania Gigliotti

Drawn to Books is a non-profit organization in Edmonton, AB. Their mission is to expand literacy for Alberta youth through educational programs and increased access to comics and graphic novels in schools and the wider community. Executive director Tania Gigliotti has been working in children’s books since 2005. In 2019, she launched Drawn to Books out of a desire to nurture and promote opportunities for young comic enthusiasts in Alberta.

The Read + Seed program is an annual fund that commits a portion of every book sold to the sponsorship of one community-based organization per year. Through this program, Read + Co offers funds to a chosen local organization in BC, Alberta, or the North — with an eye towards local, innovative, ground-level organizations who are quietly working hard to grow sustainable art or literature-centric approaches to community building.

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