• Author: drawmedy
  • Published: Jul 1st, 2013

Summer workshops with the BPL


Papercut was happy to be asked by Boston Public Libraries to run a series of workshops this summer in various locations around the city and surrounding areas.  These workshops are geared towards teens and pre-teens, so if you know young people or folks who hang with young people be sure to spread the word!

Tues. July 9 at 1PM ~~~~~ Dudley Branch, 65 Warren St. Roxury
Thurs. July 11 at 2PM ~~~  Lower Mills Branch, 27 Richmond St. Dorchester
Tues. July 16 at 2PM ~~~~ Hyde Park Branch, 35 Harvard Ave., Hyde Park
Weds. July 17 at 3:30 PM~ Mattapan Branch, 1350 Blue Hill Ave, Mattapan
Thurs. July 18 at 3PM ~~~~Grove Hall Branch, 41 Geneva St., Dorchester
Friday July 19 at 3pm ~~~~Fields Corner Branch, 1520 Dot Ave., Dorchester
Tues. July 23 at 3pm ~~~~~Codman Square Branch, 690 Washington St., Dorchester
Weds. July 24 at 1:30pm ~~Egleston Square Branch, 2044 Columbus Ave, Roxbury
Weds. July 31 at 2pm ~~~~  Central Library Branch, 700 Boylston St. Boston
Thurs. August 8 at 1:30pm ~~~South End Branch, 685 Tremont St. Boston
Mon. August 12 at 3:00pm ~~~ East Boston Branch, 276 Meridian Street, East Boston

Picture via wikipedia BPL reading room in 1871 at the first Boylston Street building, the library’s location between 1858 and 1895.

  • Author: drawmedy
  • Published: Jul 1st, 2013

Zines in Amman!


Papercut has zines written in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, and is excited to add its very first Arabic-language zine to the collection!  A PZL librarian was recently traveling in Jordan and had the opportunity to run a zine workshop at an awesome art making space called The Studio run by four women in Amman.  Come in to check them out in our newly cataloged zine display!  There are more photos from the workshop on The Studio’s photo feed.

  • Author: drawmedy
  • Published: Oct 14th, 2012

PoC Zine Project, MICE, and Museums: An event roundup

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The past few weeks we’ve had the awesome opportunity to partner with several projects, institutions, and events.  Here is a quick roundup of what we’ve been up to.  We would love to hear what other partnerships you’d like to see us pursue!

First up:  On Sept. 15th we were psyched to partner with the PoC Zine Project and Alana Kumbier at Wellesley College for a fundraiser to support the Race Riot Tour. The PoCZP’s mission is to “make it easier for POC zine fans and their supporters to find a diverse selection of zines made by POC.”  We were able to raise gas money to support the tour, feature zines made by local zinesters of color, and will feature an exhibit of PoC zines at the end of the tour.  These folks are doing really important work – here’s how YOU can support the Race Riot tour RIGHT NOW.

Next, we partnered with the Boston Comics Roundtable to put on a panel discussion with local comics artists and zinesters in advance of this year’s Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE).  The theme of the panel was the intersections between indie comics and zines.  Brian Connolly, Alizeé de Pin, Chelsea Dirck, Lily Richeson, and Marissa Falco discussed zine aesthetics, the difference between zine fairs and comic fests, swapping culture and more.  

And last but not least, last week we partnered with the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum for a day-long drop in workshop putting zines in conversation with archival materials from the museum’s collection. Here were some of our prompts:

Personal Zines are one of the largest category at the Papercut Zine Library.  They often include voices that are not present, and whose stories are not frequently told, in mainstream print media. This might include anyone from young people, differently abled individuals, anarchists, people of color, to urban substitute teachers.  Isabella Gardner’s diaries document the voice of an educated and influential woman at a time when women’s voices were not frequently recorded.  These forms of ephemeral print media (zines, diaries) become part of history when we recognize that they give us access to voices we might not find in books and newspapers.

If you were to create a personal zine, what would you share? What would you want visitors to the Gardner Museum in 100 years to know about you?  What could you fit onto one page?

Isabella Gardner used words and image in her travel journals to document and share her experiences in parts of the world few of her peers would ever see.  These travel zines share experiences of hidden places, beloved parts of hometowns, and personal journeys.

How would you describe your trip to the Gardner Museum to someone in another part of the country?  Another part of the world?  What would you draw and what words would you use to describe it?  What would you share about Boston or your home town that your readers might not know?

Isabella Gardner had an eclectic circle of acquaintances including artists, politicians, world travelers, and writers.  She corresponded with them frequently, and her letters provide us with a glimpse into her thoughts, dialogues, and exchanges of ideas.  Zines often use the mail, and mail art, as a way to foster connection and expression through pen pals, political letter writing campaigns, or communication to spaces that can’t easily be physically accessed (such as prisons).

Make a piece of mail art to include in a zine.  Isabella Gardner often wrote to great thinkers of her time, or those she met while traveling.  Make a piece of mail to send to an artist or writer who has inspired you, someone in a country you might never visit, or a place in America you might never go.

Stay tuned for more posts sharing the zine we made through out partnership with the Union Square Farmer’s Market.  Whew!  Who else should we hook up with??
  • Author: drawmedy
  • Published: Feb 7th, 2012

Papercut Visits Gately Youth Center

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Papercut was happy to be invited to Gately Youth Center in North Cambridge to talk about zine making with young people in their girls’ zine project.  This awesome group has been working on zine content ever since seeing the work of a local zinester several months ago; each week the participants brainstorm words related to middle school, pick two words out of a hat, and make pages recording their thoughts, ideas, and experiences.  Papercut librarians Kimberly and Anna brought some examples of different ways to approach zine making with images, words, and book arts.  We are looking forward to cataloging the Gately zine when it is completed!

Over the past year we have enjoyed working with young people and teachers in classrooms and after schools.  Contact us if you are interested in having a zine workshop visit your school or program!

  • Author: drawmedy
  • Published: May 30th, 2011

Educator Workshop Recap

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Last week one of our last zine workshops supported by the Somerville Arts Council, “Zines in the Classroom: A Workshop for Educators” convened at the library.  As a former classroom educator, this workshop was very dear to my heart.  As I wrote in the workshop description, I am excited about the creation of DIY media as a powerful (as well as cheap and accessible!) way to empower students to process and express their knowledge and experiences.

Seven former and current classroom educators from Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island attended the workshop, arriving with a range of experiences with zines and zine culture and a host of interesting questions ranging from how to come up with successful prompts for students to the relationship between zines and on-line social media.

During the workshop we looked at zines made about teaching and learning before exploring resources in various sections of the PZL and concluded by creating our own “flash zine” about our experiences as educators.  Participants, your finished product is in the mail and on its way to you!  And others, come check it out as the newest edition to our collection.  It includes a list of selected suggested zines for the K-12 classroom.  Learn more about this workshop series here.

  • Author: drawmedy
  • Published: Apr 2nd, 2011

PZL Librarians Lead Zine Making Workshop at Somerville Middle School

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Thanks to a generous grant from the Somerville Arts Council, PZL librarians Kimberly and Anna were able to lead a zine making workshop in March for over 40 7th grade students at the Arthur D. Healey school, the first of a series of zine-making workshops that the library will run throughout the Somerville community.

The workshop began with students exploring selections from the PZL collection and coming up with a class definition of a zine.  After discussing the reasons why individuals or communities might choose to make DIY publications, each class generated the material for their own zine in one class period!  Student pages included comics, reviews, reflections,  collages, and how-to’s.  It was a great time!  Here’s what the teachers had to say:

Thank you for the presentation by the Papercut Library to the Healey School in Somerville! The students were fully engaged, and left with full understanding about what zines are and their uses. The kids had a fantastic time creating their own zines, and didn’t want the time to end! Thanks again, and I am sure we have created some zine enthusiasts.

All the best,

Sherri Sklar

Humanities Teacher, Healey School

Your visit inspired my students to begin making their own zines in their free time!  The kids were deeply engrossed in the materials you brought along and in creating their own page.  Your presentation style was highly engaging, students were excited to participate, and I was impressed with their creative zine ideas.  We will have to build in some time to the curriculum to revisit the zine genre in the future.

Thank you!
Claire Schu
Humanities Teacher, Healey School

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