The Gaiman Foundation Contributes $60,000 to CBLDF for Education Program

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is grateful to acknowledge the generosity of the Gaiman Foundation, who today contributed $60,000 to advance the organization’s growing education program. After more than a decade of service, Neil Gaiman retired from the CBLDF’s Board of Directors earlier this year. This gift represents the start of a new phase in his relationship with the organization and provides essential support for the Fund’s education programs, which protect the freedom to read comics.

Gaiman says, “I’ve supported the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, initially through fundraising and awareness raising, and then as a member of the board of directors, for over twenty years now. The CBLDF has, through that time, grown from a one-person organization dealing with emergencies that would have wiped out creators and retailers to what it is now: a major force in fighting censorship and preserving First Amendment liberties for those of us who read, create, publish or sell comics on paper or on the web.”

During his tenure as a board member, Gaiman was instrumental in developing the CBLDF’s education program, which will now be advanced as a result of the Gaiman Foundation gift. “Part of the CBLDF’s purpose is educational,” Gaiman explains, “and in dealing with the ongoing emergencies of arrested comics readers and comic store staff, corporate attacks on creators, rescuing people who had run afoul of law enforcement bodies who want to limit their freedom to read and the like, it was too easy for that part of the remit to come in last. From my perspective, educating readers, creators, retailers and publishers is the most important thing we can do, because it gives us long term change.”

The Gaiman Foundation gift will immediately fund important education initiatives, including sponsorship of the Kids Right to Read Project and Banned Books Week, as well as new resources such as the book Manga: Introduction, Challenges, and Best Practices and publications for parents and educators about using graphic novels. The gift will also allow the CBLDF to continue building its body of educational events and resources throughout 2013.

CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein says, “Neil’s vision, leadership and support have been fundamental in steering the CBLDF over the years. He has always been the most ardent voice for the Fund being a proactive education organization, and with this contribution, we are able to build upon the foundation he built to deliver an even more powerful program. We are grateful to him and the Gaiman Foundation for their generous support. It will help us make a real difference.

Making a difference for organizations like the CBLDF is the purpose of the Gaiman Foundation. Secretary and Administrator Holly Gaiman says, “The Gaiman Foundation was founded in order to Do Good. The initial way it Does Good is by financially supporting organizations like the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. My siblings and I, who sit on the board of the Gaiman Foundation along with Neil and Amanda Palmer, have been inspired by our father’s dedication to the CBLDF for the majority of our lives. The First Amendment work of the CBLDF has been close to the heart of our entire family, and it is with great joy and pride that we all, through the Foundation, Do Good through supporting the CBLDF in its educational mission.”

Even as the Gaiman Foundation gift builds a baseline for the CBLDF’s education activities, Gaiman continues to invest his time in the organization as a member of the creative community. He is currently offering to personalize graphic novels for CBLDF supporters as part of the current Spirit of Giving holiday fundraiser. Asked why he continues to give his time to help CBLDF he says, “It’s a great cause, and I’m proud to support it. Organizations like the CBLDF exist because we all support them — we pay our memberships, we buy art in the auctions, and we use it as a resource. The more we give, the more they can do.”

Gaiman concludes, “The CBLDF does a lot with a very little. I’m delighted that this year the Gaiman Foundation can help it to build.”

Founded in 2012, the Gaiman Foundation supports a range of causes, particularly those to do with free speech and the arts.  The Gaiman Foundation is a non-profit benefit corporation founded to grant gifts to selected charitable and educational organizations that have demonstrated dedication and excellence in their respective missions.

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers. The CBLDF provides legal referrals, representation, advice, assistance, and education in furtherance of these goals.