Swing by the Bubbler room at Central Library these days and you'll find a new permanent addition to the library collection - Zines! We're obsessed with these small, beautiful, self-published treasures and it turns out, we're not alone. The Zine culture in Madison is booming, and we're excited to offer Zine artists and makers a place to share their messages with the community.
"Zines totally belong in the library," recent Artist-in-Residence and Zine library shelf creator, Taylor Rushing told us, "they're a democratic way of making and disseminating information and storytelling in a way that is completely unpretentious, judgment free, and free of any expectation."
We were delighted to fill our new Zine library with new content this spring after we hosted the 6th annual Zine celebration, Print & Resist on April 13, 2019.
60 Artists & 300 Zine Loving Patrons
The 2019 Print & Resist drew 60 artists from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois,and Indiana, and over 300 Zine lovers over the course of one afternoon. Patrons were able to purchase Zines from 50 cents to $5 - even freebees. And exhibitors were able to share their messages on a large scale for just a $5 table donation. Donations went to pay this year's poster designer, Lauden Nute.
"It was such a supportive environment," Olivia Wisden, founder of UnderBelly and zine artist, shared with us. UnderBelly is a new startup in Madison that aims to provide recommendations to locally inclusive business and off beat events across the city.
They were about to launch a new app but were looking to connect with their community before it got off the ground. What better way than a Zine? And what better place to share it than the Bubbler's new Zine library and Print & Resist?
"Print and Resist happened right in the middle of our zine launch. It was amazing to get to meet people who had seen the zine, who knew us, and to engage a whole bunch of artists and people who were eager to share their ideas and enthusiasm."
Creating Inclusive Communities
Taylor echoed the sentiment, "The world of zines, is the most all welcoming community that I have been a part of - especially in a world where artists can be an exclusive group. People who make zines are exactly the opposite."
Print & Resist is a way for artists to connect with each other, but also for the public to engage and be inspired. "The more zines you put in front of people the more they realize that it is rule free. It's liberating experience. People come with lots of stories already preloaded, this is a risk-free way to tell them," Taylor reflected.
This is the 5th year that the Bubbler has hosted Print & Resist at the Central library in partnership with long time event organizer Camy Matthay, and local arts organizations Artworking and Communication Madison. We're already excited for next year's Print & Resist - April 25th, 2020 (save the date!)
Supporting Zine Culture in Madison
The Bubbler team has learned a ton about Zines and Zine culture this spring through Print & Resist, as well as partnerships with the artists and makers at Communication to host youth workshops and professional development sessions with teachers. The handmade, DIY, and completely inclusive spirit is at the heart of Zine making culture. It is also what makes them appealing platforms for young people and other often under represented groups.
"Zine culture has flourished, generally, with youth. They are taken with the idea of a way to get their ideas out into the world easily and accessibly," explains Jennie Bastian, one of this year's Print & Resist organizers and co-founder of Communication.
"We share our artists' Zines in the same space as fine art. It shows we take them seriously. They are equal in our eyes, and we respect them together. Making something, telling your story, is meaningful, and valid, and Communication is a space for that."
Madison Public Library is a space for that, too.
Thank you to all of our artists and organizers for sharing your stories with us this spring and helping us empower other educators and youth to share theirs.