This Pop-up Has a Free Bookshelf Spotlighting Female Artists

Books that will be available for free this weekend only at Canal Street Market in New York. Photo: Betty Manyisha

This weekend only, Canal Street Market is hosting a pop-up store called the Women’s Equality Bazaar, offering a collection of books about female artists from Georgia O’Keeffe to Diane Arbus, which are entirely free, plus clothing and goods for sale. A portion of the proceeds will fund scholarships for Guatemalan girls.

The idea for a free bookstore came to Grace Clarke, director of content for a New York City PR firm, while learning about art and design by asking women who worked in the art world. “Art is intimidating,” she explained to the Cut. So she asked her new friends to help her: They shared their artwork, walked her through artistic concepts, and passed on their favorite art and photography books. “It made me feel so connected to other people, and right now the world feels so out of control,” she said. “It was a real antidote.”

Clarke connected with Dasha Faires, creative director of Canal Street Market, and over three weeks the two contacted publishers to donate books and scoured secondhand stores for titles to add to the library. They gathered about 57 books for the Women’s Equality Bazaar. In a partnership with Global Goods, a New York–based nonprofit, 20 percent of proceeds from the store’s other goods will go to an education scholarship fund for Guatemalan girls ages 6 to 18.

“Obviously they’re really beautiful books that you want to save and display, put them on your coffee table and be able to say by association, ‘I know about art,’” Clarke said. “But I really hope people pass them on; that’s how I’ve gotten to read so many biographies. I just want them out in the world.”

The store is open through this weekend, or until supplies last.

Canal Street Market is open this Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 265 Canal Street.

This Pop-up Has a Free Bookshelf Spotlighting Female Artists