FAQ ‒ About the Foundation
1. What does the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation do?
The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation has established a number of annual awards, fellowships, grant programs and performance series that serve many groups, including students, families, educators and scholars. We oversee the continuing publication of Keats books and ensure that the quality of production meets the high standard that Ezra required. The Foundation is responsible for administering all business connected with the books, such as films, books, games or other products centered on Ezra’s life, characters or stories. We also answer the letters which are still written to Ezra every day by fans all over the world—one of our favorite jobs!
2. How was the EJK Foundation started?
Ezra created the Foundation in 1964, and during his lifetime it served largely as a vehicle for his personal contributions. In his will, he directed that the royalties from his books support the activities of the Foundation after his death. When he died in 1983, the Foundation began to focus on developing programs that reflected Ezra’s desire to help make the world a better place for children.
3. What are some of the programs supported by the Foundation?
4. Where is the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation?
The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation is located in Brooklyn, New York.
5. Many of the Foundation’s programs appear to be based in New York. Do you have national programs as well?
Many activities of the Foundation are New York-based; after all, Ezra was born in Brooklyn and was a lifelong New Yorker. For example, we partner with the New York City Department of Education to run the Bookmaking Competition, and this year the exhibition of winners is taking place at the Brooklyn Public Library. However, this successful program could be adopted by other cities—something we would love to see happen. Our biggest national initiative to date is our long-running Minigrant program, through which we have supported public schools and libraries throughout the country.
6. Where are the original Ezra Jack Keats book illustrations?
The original artwork for Ezra’s books is the core of the Keats Archive, which is part of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) in Hattiesburg. The Archive also contains memorabilia from Ezra’s childhood, his years as a struggling artist and his career as a successful author and illustrator.
7. What is the de Grummond Collection?
The de Grummond Collection at USM is one of the foremost collections of children’s literature in the United States, dedicated to preserving and promoting the vitally important field of children’s books created over several centuries. Scholars and students of children’s literature use the de Grummond as a primary source for information and original research in the field.
8. Is it OK for me to download a photo from your site?
No. All of the images, photographs and illustrations are copyrighted and not available for unauthorized reproduction. To display an image for a project, production or any other reason, you must request written permission from the Foundation. If permission is granted, the image must be accompanied by the credit line “This image appears with the permission of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.”
9. How may I obtain a copy of a Keats painting or book illustration for framing?
Reproductions of Ezra’s illustrations are currently unavailable at R. Michelson Galleries
10. Is there merchandise related to Keats characters? Is anything available for free?
Unfortunately, we do not have free materials to share with the public. But the Shopping page lists an array of Keats-related materials, ranging from books to toys, and where to purchase them.