Zine Making Workshops

Spring 2019 has been a busy time for teen zine making in the Twin Cities. jenny sippel and I, both Faculty Librarians at Minneapolis College, were asked to collaborate on Zine Making Workshops with the Walker Art Center’s Teen Arts Council, Hennepin County Library’s Teen Tech Squad and the Minnesota Historical Society’s Teen Action Group. The number of collaborations has been surprising and fun! These groups of teens are unique from one another and because of that, and the fact that their workshops were customized to their specific goals; they probably took different things away from their experiences! The HCL Teen Tech Squad will be taking what they learned and offering their own zine-making workshop to other teens, the WAC Teen Arts Council zine-making event at the Walker included connecting with local zinesters during the workshop, and the MHS Teen Action Group created a small zine exhibit at the Minnesota History Center. Since the MHS Teen Action Group was creating a physical exhibit to highlight their work, I suggested they create a digital exhibit on the MCTC Zine Collection Website. They enthusiastically agreed and this blog post is my attempt to help realize that goal.

Most of the zine making workshops that jenny and I offer or contribute to start with a presentation about what zines are and how various communities have used them to communicate, network and collaborate over time. Zines dovetail nicely with the Teen Action Group’s purpose, which is to “research underrepresented histories, organize events, and present their findings in new ways.” Their final project of the year was completed in conjunction with the Minnesota History Center’s spring exhibit: First Avenue Stories of Minnesota’s Mainroom. Many music fans and bands communicated with each other using zines, making them logical source material for the teen group’s final history project.

All the teen groups making zines with us this spring started out with a one page-folding template. The Teen Action Group members had extended time to devote to producing zines that look beautiful and cover something important to their lives in a more comprehensive way. Look through this photo gallery of student work and you will see explorations of gender identity, student schoolwork overload, and representations of Latinx people. You will also observe histories of the War on Drugs linking to mass incarceration, a family’s Roma immigration story, and Remedios Varo. Enjoy!

All of these teen groups give young people across the Twin Cities metro region access to the mission and work of important cultural and educational institutions. I have to give a HUGE shout out to the amazing individuals leading and supporting these teen groups: Simona Zappa (WAC), Sara Zettervall (HCL), Amber Jones (MHS) and Sophie Nadler (MHS). Thank you for being such great collaborators, and we hope to continue working with you and teen groups for years to come!

View more creations from the zine workshops.

~Elissah Becknell