On April 21, 2018, Lubeznik Center for the Arts (LCA) welcomes independent authors, publishers, artists and zinesters to present and revel in a wide range of printed artistic expressions.
Public offerings include a hands-on family workshop, keynote address, panel discussion, vendor tables, original zine art exhibit, poetry readings, storytelling and music.
For those unfamiliar with the terms, a "zine" is a miniature magazine that is typically self-published and “small presses” are independent publishers of work by emerging authors and poets.
Lubeznik Center Education Director, Hannah Hammond-Hagman, began work on the festival last August, connecting local and regional folks already engaged in the resurgent zine scene for the ultimate Zine Fest brain trust. "I am grateful to be working with so many wonderful partners to bring this event to LCA and Michigan City. The Zine and Small Press Fest celebrates the amazing works of zine artists and indie authors from the region and beyond and highlights these literary works of contemporary documentation, community activism, and storytelling. It's simply time to acknowledge this important and relevant work, and we look forward to a great crowd on April 21 for all of the Fest events."
The day's planned activities and exhibits will begin at the Michigan City Public Library, 100 E 4th Street, at 10 a.m. with an interactive, family, zine-making workshop around the idea of superheros. This event is suitable for all ages and runs until noon. All materials will be provided.
Lubeznik Center for the Arts, located at 101 W. Second Street, will be a flurry of activity beginning at 12:30 p.m. with a keynote address presented by Dr. Fred Wright. Fred has written extensively on zines and popular culture, including "From Zines to Ezines: Electronics Publishing and the Literary Underground" exploring how online publishing affected the subculture of zines. He published the literary zine entitled drinkdrankdrunk and wrote reviews for Zine World: A Reader's Guide to the Underground Press. He has taught at Kent State University, Muskingum University, Cuyahoga County Community College, and Ursuline College. Fred has presented at conferences and published articles in journals such as The Journal of Popular Culture. His last zine was a serialized novel about a rock band, and he publishes his novels under his pen name of Wred Fright. His latest is Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead.
Artists, activists and academics host a panel discussion at 2:00 p.m. The resurgence of zine culture and why it's so important, specifically relating to current happenings in the Northwest Indiana region, will be the focus. Alec Villarreal of Mythos Zine writes: “I'm convinced part of the reason there's been an influx of interest in zine culture within Northwest Indiana is because a handful of local creatives have a difficult time identifying with the ritzy 'HGTV' styled art markets. Zines are oftentimes grungy and down-to-earth in their appearance or content, and this is precisely what makes the artistic nobodies of our region, like myself, say, 'I want to be a part of that'. The Zine & Small Press Fest is just another tangible expression of a network of artists that’s being formed in NWI, and I’m excited to be part of it.”
A curated lineup of poets will read their works from 3:00 - 5:00 PM. All the while, in LCA’s Hyndman Gallery from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., 40 zinesters, small publishers, and independent authors will offer up their wares for sale or giveaway, everything from photo and poetry zines and comic books to novels and playing cards. These independent publishers represent unique and diverse perspectives in their creative projects. There will be something for all ages, all walks of life.
Throughout the hours of activity at LCA, there will be access to Material Culture, a curated exhibit to accompany the Zine and Small Press Fest. The exhibit will remain on display through May 19, 2018 in the NIPSCO Education Studio. Material Culture explores the varied media and methods of zines and self-published materials from comic books and graphic novels to community and environmental activist projects and poetry and photography zines. The exhibition will include materials from those participating in our Zine and Small Press Fest on April 21, as well as student works from LCA’s after school arts programs and works from students of Indiana University Northwest and Purdue University Northwest. Also on display will be original artworks and prints from regional zine artists affiliated with Mythos Publications of Hobart, Indiana, a collection of zines and published materials from Calumet Residency of Gary, Indiana, and original comic books from the Chicago’s Hairy Who art movement on loan from local artist Tom Brand.
The festival celebrations continue into the evening at the Artspace Uptown Artist Lofts, 717 Franklin Street. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m.. Kicking things off at 6:30 p.m. will be a storytelling hour hosted by radio host, creative consultant, and author Gregg Fraley. Poetry readings and performances will follow, featuring a number of accomplished poets including William Taylor Jr. (San Francisco), Iris Berry (Los Angeles) and Michael Grover (Florida). The event comes to a close with a musical performance by singer/songwriter A.S. Coomer. This event is intended for ages 16 and up. There will be light snacks and a 21+ cash bar.
All festival events are free of admission charges. For more information, please visit the LCA facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LubeznikCenterfortheArts/.
This program has been made possible through a grant from Indiana Humanities in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities.