The Boston Comic Arts Foundation (BCAF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which champions the comics art form, increasing excitement about and engagement with the comics medium to create opportunities for more comics, more comics readers, and more support for comics creators. BCAF celebrates comics, graphic novels, and independent creators through art festivals, artist grants, and educational programming. Partnering with local libraries, schools, and organizations, BCAF increases access to comics by providing high-quality events and educational opportunities, which are free and open to all. BCAF supports the work of local comics creators, and is committed to fostering equity in a community of authors and readers that includes all voices.
BCAF is positioning Boston as the premier indie comics hub for artists, universities, and the general public.
The field of comics is rapidly evolving. By increasing the visibility of the comic art form and the accessibility between artists and audiences, BCAF seeks to encourage young readers, motivate the artist community, and elevate the discourse surrounding comics.
annual comics festivals since 2010
Provided over 200 free arts programs
Attracted over 33,000 attendees
Hosted over 2,100 artists and writers
Awarded over 125 mini-grants for new work
Meet the Team
Shelli Paroline Executive Director
Shelli Paroline is a founding member of the Boston Comic Arts Foundation and served as Co-Director of the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE) for 13 years. She and her husband Braden Lamb form an Eisner award-winning comic art team collaborating on the Adventure Time comics, Midas, and Making Scents. Her favorite graphic novel is Paul Joins the Scouts by Michel Rabagliati.
S.Matt Read Development Director
S.Matt Read has been the Boston Comic Arts Foundation's fundraising arm since 2020. A longtime volunteer for Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE), he holds an MA in Children's Literature and loves reading and thinking about comics and graphic novels. His favorite comic is Borb by Jason Little.
Contact: sread@ bostoncomicarts.org
Jason Viola Program Director
Jason Viola is a founding member of the Boston Comic Arts Foundation and for several years was the project manager for Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE). He writes educational graphic novels and has been drawing stories since he was a kid. His favorite comic is The Lagoon by Lilli Carré.
Contact: jviola@ bostoncomicarts.org
Gina Gagliano Communications Director
Gina Gagliano joined the Boston Comic Arts Foundation in 2023. Her career in books began in bookselling, then transitioned to publishing, followed by festivals and nonprofits. Her favorite graphic novel is Sara Varon's Robot Dreams.
Contact: ggagliano@ bostoncomicarts.org