Cooper’s Cottage at the Highlights Foundation
In Honor of Floyd D. Cooper
We always marveled how people gravitated toward Floyd, especially young people. He seemed to have a real sense of magic about him; not only in the illustrations that he did, but his person. He invited people into his space—into his world—and they felt comfortable there. At ease. Welcomed. At home. And when their visit with Floyd ended, he always left them with a special connection to him and his smile. (Cheryl Hudson, speaking about Floyd during his Memorial Celebration)
The Highlights Foundation dedicated a scholarship and cabin in honor of Floyd Cooper in 2019. We didn’t know it at the time, but those would come to honor his memory. He donated art and memorabilia to use in the cabin before his untimely death in 2021. One of Floyd’s publishers (The Lerner Publishing Group) now helps support the Floyd Cooper Scholarship through cabin sponsorship.
The 2023 Floyd Cooper Scholarship recipient Jennifer Mack-Watkins recounted seeing his connection to children firsthand in her application:
My true passion is building spaces for children to use their imaginations, and it guides much of my work. It is through books that I can best reach and inspire this audience, sparking in them the [type of] creativity that is central to my life. I witnessed this same spark when Floyd Cooper visited a small bookstore in Hoboken, NJ. On that day, I was so amazed by his connection to the children, and his passion for sharing his artistic practice with them.
Floyd was an amazing friend and mentor to many. His stories still reach children across the world today and, so too, do the stories born by those he helped along the way.
Generously Sponsored By
Emotions Flowed From Floyd’s Pages
“Floyd was an amazing talent, gone too soon. The emotions flowed off the pages with Floyd’s artwork and we are honored to have had his talent on books such as Unspeakable, Ruth and the Green Book, Something to Prove, and A Spy Called James. Floyd’s amazing artwork will always hold a special place in our hearts. We are honored to help his legacy live on through Cooper’s Cottage, providing respite and inspiration for illustrators of color or Indigenous illustrators.”
Adam Lerner, Publisher and CEO of Lerner Publishing Group
The sponsorship of Cooper’s Cottage at the Highlights Foundation ensures the ongoing funding of our scholarship in Floyd’s honor. Established in 2019 and awarded yearly, it provides tuition for an illustrator of color or an Indigenous illustrator to attend a Highlights Foundation course of their choice, either online or in-person. Learn more about the scholarship and Floyd’s dedication to mentorship and community in children’s literature.