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FFRPL is the 501(c)(3) charity that raises funds, presents programssupports special projectshelps create specialized spaces, and purchases supplemental materials & equipment for the Rochester Public Library.


Juried Shows

Art of the Book (left and center), Rochester Edible Books Festival and Competition (right)

For many years, FFRPL has supported Central Libraries juried shows, including Annual Art of the Book exhibitions and the Rochester Edible Books Festival and Competition. Learn more about FFRPL-supported juried shows at the Library here.

Historical Exhibits

Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts and Activism – 2019

On view August 1 – November 17, 2019

FFRPL is proud to support Central Library’s exhibit Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts and Activism. The exhibition draws upon handicraft to express hope, voice dissent, critique the curtailment of civil rights, comment politically and restore dignity to the human experience in the U.S. The essays and artwork featured in the exhibition – and companion book, published by RIT Press – are framed within the context of American democracy.

“Crafting Democracy seeks to demonstrate the ways in which craft is employed as a tool of expression that gives voice to people who seek an active role in democracy.”

As of Saturday, October 19 (one year after the massacre at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue), the Jewish Hearts for Pittsburgh quilt has been added to the Crafting Democracy exhibit.

Learn more about Crafting Democracy, supported in part by FFRPL

When Hinda Mandell, RIT associate professor of communications, and Ellen Dominus Broude founded the Jewish Hearts for Pittsburgh campaign, crafters from throughout the U.S., Canada, England, Dubai, Costa Rica and Australia sent in 2,500 handmade contributions.

Volunteers in Pittsburgh hung the hearts throughout the Squirrel Hill neighborhood in the immediate aftermath of the mass shooting. Read the 2018 article from the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle here

The Jewish Hearts continued to arrive. With the remaining contributions, Hannah Bluestone Lieberman stitched Jewish Hearts into a heart-themed pattern, and Linda “Kitty” Walsh crocheted the door-sized tapestry, stitching together the contributions into a larger schematic.

Learn more about the exhibit and related programs here

Read the City Newspaper article ‘Crafting Democracy’ fights fire with fiber (Aug. 6 issue) here

Read the Rochester Beacon article (Aug. 5) The fiber of democracy here

Read WXXI’s article (July 25) Using yarn installation to create a thread to Rochester’s social activism past here

Read RIT’s article (July 17) RIT professors organize yarn installation in Rochester Aug. 21 here

Read RIT’s article (July 15) Craft activism in the Trump Era on exhibit in ‘Crafting Democracy’ here

Exhibit Co-Curators: Juilee Decker, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Museum Studies Program and Hinda Mandell, Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Communication, Rochester Institute of Technology.

Stonewall: 50 Years Out – 2019

In 2019, FFRPL sponsored Central Library’s exhibition Stonewall: 50 Years Out, commemorating the anniversary of the uprising that sparked the gay liberation movement and exploring the history of Rochester’s LGBTQ+ communities, organized by the Local History & Genealogy Division.

View the Stonewall album of reception pictures here

Read the City Newspaper article (June 12 issue) here

The project was led by City Historian and Library Historical Services Consultant Christine Ridarsky and guided by community partners representing the diversity of the local LGBTQ+ community, including: the City of Rochester; Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County; Rochester Black Pride; University of Rochester Libraries Dept. of Rare Books, Special Collections & Preservation; RIT; RMSC; SUNY Brockport; Out Alliance; Landmark Society of Western NY; Presbytery of the Genesee Valley; Third Presbyterian Church More Light Committee.

Presenting sponsors: Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County, FFRPL with funding from the Anthony Mascioli Fund and the Equality Fund for Humanity and Enlightenment; Trillium Health and Dr. William Valenti & James Wolk.

Additional supporters: Asbury First United Methodist Church; Larry Champoux; Dixon Schwabl;  Humanities NY; Human Rights Campaign, Landmark Society of Western New York; Third Presbyterian Church More Light Committee.

Media Sponsors: WXXI, the Empty Closet, City Newspaper, and the Rochester Business Journal.

Because Of Women Like Her – 2017

In 2017, FFRPL sponsored Central Library’s exhibit, Because of Women Like Her … Winning the Vote in New York State as part of the NYS Suffrage Centennial Celebration.

Al-Mutanabbi Street: Start the Conversation – 2014

In 2014, FFRPL sponsored Al-Mutanabbi Street: Start the Conversation at Central Library, an international exhibit of over 260 artist’s books and broadsides that was organized by Letterpress and Book Artists, in response to the car bombing in Iraq, that targeted Al-Mutanabbi Street, which was populated by hundreds of bookstores, publishers, printers, bookstalls and cafés, and had served as the booksellers’ street in Baghdad for hundreds of years.  The exhibit sought to educate and enlighten our community about the ‘silent consequences’ of war, including censorship, freedom of speech and free access to ideas.

Partners: Central Library, The City of Rochester Sister Cities, Empire State College State University of New York, Monroe Community College, Nazareth College’s School of Education, Writers & Books, the Genesee Center for the Arts & Education, the Rochester Brainery and Visual Studies Workshop.

Pride & Passion: the African American Baseball Experience – 2013

In 2013, FFRPL sponsored Central Library’s Pride & Passion: the African American Baseball Experience exhibit, which celebrated the story of black baseball players in the U.S. over the previous century and a half.