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Chicago Zine Fest Celebrates 5th Anniversary With Free Showcase

By Jessica Mlinaric in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 15, 2014 4:30PM

Art by Marnie Galloway.

As our access to automation continually increases, so does our craving for the unique, the handmade, and the quirky. The enthusiasm for something like 'zines surpasses nostalgia; the accessibly produced format has always lent itself to original viewpoints and artwork in a range of interests that still delights anyone stepping inside local bookstores.

Next month, the Chicago Zine Fest will celebrate its 5th anniversary of showcasing independent authors, publishers and the DIY community with a free festival. The festival includes a series of discussions and workshops running throughout the city on March 14 and 15.

A half-decade on, Chicago Zine Fest continues to grow in scope and popularity. Organizers surpassed their goal of welcoming new exhibitors this year, with fest registration selling out in only two hours. Attendees can look forward to lots of new faces, given the overwhelming response from writers and artists across the country.

“We are so excited that enthusiasm has grown for the fest in these first five years, and hope it continues to grow!” says Leslie Perrine, an original festival organizer. “I've seen it from our very first fundraiser to now an event people tell me they love.”

Friday’s events include a panel discussion on zine longevity, youth and exhibitor readings, and a Kickoff Celebration Dance party hosted by CHIRP Radio. Throughout Saturday, March 15, over 200 small press and self-publishers will table, host workshops, and engage in panel discussions. DIY zine-making and self-publishing will be celebrating with other programming throughout the day, including kid’s activities, readings, and demonstrations.

Friday, March 14th
1 p.m.—3 p.m. Opening Panel at Conaway Center at Columbia College (1104 S. Wabash)
In it for the Long Haul: A Discussion on Longevity in Zines with Cindy Crabb (Doris), Tomas Moniz (Rad Dad), and Alex Wrekk (Brainscan). Moderated by Quimby’s Bookstore’s own Liz Mason (Caboose)!

6 p.m.—7 p.m. Zines: The Next Generation at Hairpin Arts Center (2800 N Milwaukee)
A youth reading featuring grade school and high school students reading from their own self-published zines!

7 p.m.—9 p.m. Exhibitor Reading at Hairpin Arts Center (2800 N Milwaukee)
Featuring readings by: Amber Dearest, Amelia Hruby, Caitlin Constantine, Cindy Crabb, Curiouser Jane, K of Lake Effect, Joyce Hatton, Keiler Roberts, Khristina Acosta, LB of Truckface, Mack Attack, Tevor Grabill
Both readings will feature ASL interpretation.

9 p.m. —11:30 p.m. CZF Kick Off Celebration and Dance Party! at Hairpin Arts Center (2800 N Milwaukee)
Featuring DJ stylings of CHIRP Radio. Come hang out, have fun, and dance a little in celebration of FIVE YEARS of Chicago Zine Fest!!

Saturday, March 15th
11 a.m. —6 p.m. Zine Exhibition at Columbia College (1104 S. Wabash)
Featuring over 200 tablers with zines, self-published books, & mini comics for sale and trade. Enjoy workshops, printing demos, panel discussions, kids activities, & MORE!

All Chicago Zine Fest events are free, wheelchair accessible, and open to the public.