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Rx for Reading

This summer, Stamps Associate Professor Rebekah Modrak worked with the Director of RX for Reading, University of Detroit Mercy Professor Mary Catherine Harrison, to invite a group of local artists/designers to design and paint the roofs of ten little free libraries.

Adrian Deva
Bill Burgard
Jon Verney (MFA 2016)
Beth Reeck (BFA 2018)

Eight of the eleven artists involved in the project were from the Stamps community, including faculty Bill Burgard, Adrian Deva, Stephanie Tharp, Bruce Tharp, and Nick Tobier, undergraduate student Beth Reeck (BFA 2018), and recent MFA alumni Jon Verney (MFA 2016) and Nate Morgan (MFA 2016). Other contributors include local artists Trevor Stone and Natalie Berry, design historian and educator Grace Vandervliet, and architect Dave Rochlen of Charm Architecture. The artists met and worked on the libraries in the Stamps Faculty/Graduate studios at 1919 Green Rd.

Nick Tobier
Bruce and Stephanie Tharp
Dave Rochlen
Grace Vandervliet
Trevor Stone and Natalie Berry

Since 2014, RX for Reading Detroit has distributed over 50,000 books to children and families in the Detroit community. A non-profit literacy initiative sponsored by the University of Detroit Mercy, the mission of Rx for Reading is to expand access to high-quality children’s books and support families in reading with their children. They work in collaboration with over 50 community partners, including low-income health, dental and WIC clinics, homeless shelters, churches and community centers, local schools and Head Start programs.

Each library painted at Stamps has since been filled with a collection of books and placed with community organizations that serve children and families across Detroit and Hamtramck. Locations include:

Mary Catherine Harrison with Dave Rochlen's library at Dickinson West Elementary, Hamtramck
Adrian Deva's library at Delray Neighborhood House
Beth Reeck's library at Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation
Bill Burgard's library at S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center
Nate Morgan's library at the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program

Contact RX for Reading to help with book donations or funding: a donation of $25 purchases 10 new books with characters from culturally diverse backgrounds, and sponsoring a library costs $150.