At the start of the spring semester, the New Paltz Zine Club, rebranded as the New Paltz Zine Collective, announced that they were working on reviving the organization along with the creative freedom that zine-making has given students in the past.
Even though the club missed the deadline to receive funds from the Student Association, they plan to use their resources accumulated from past years to host meetings where students can make their own zines, which they are calling “creation meetings.”
“In our creation meetings, we all collectively work on our zines in the create space [in Sojourner Truth Library],” said Sarah Cunningham, third-year zine club organizer. “Some people help or inspire one another and others have formed partnerships or groups to make some co-zines.”
Cunningham has been working alongside fellow students and club organizers Sophie Gonzalez and Samantha Comes, discussing how best to bring back the club after COVID-19 made it difficult for them to have in-person meetings, something a hands-on activity such as zine-making relies heavily on. She also runs the organization’s Instagram account, @npzines, which she has been using to spread the word about meetings and hosting polls to gather student preferences, such as a time for club meetings.
“Since COVID-19, it hasn’t been possible to keep up with club maintenance,” Cunningham said. “We still have some funding from the past, but it’s up to those who are in the zine club now to keep the spirit going.”
Last October, the club hosted “Zine-o-thon” in the library, where students were invited to make and receive printed copies of their own zines and were given the opportunity to swap their work with other creators. They also have been utilizing their Instagram by featuring zines of certain themes through their “Zines of the Week” series. Many of the zines featured were centered around certain groups during their awareness months, such as the Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Latin communities.
The Zine Collective had their first general interest meeting on March 3, followed by an “Intro to Making a Zine” workshop on March 10.
“A lot of people have expressed interest which I’m so happy about,” Cunningham said. “The meetings have had a handful of familiar and new faces. We’re grateful that the zine librarian, Madeline [Veitch], preserved the materials, funds and the social media account which has had a high following from people all over, not just students.”
On April 1, the Psychological Counseling Center and Trans Closet Hudson Valley, a transgender-led organizaiton that works to provide clothes, supplies and resources to the trans community in the Hudson Valley will be celebrating Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV), which will be on March 31. Students will have an opportunity to contribute to a zine focusing on TDOV. The event, which will happen in front of the library from 12 p.m — 4 p.m., will also provide free clothing for trans and gender non-conforming students.
The collective hopes that the event, along with Design Week, will help students gain knowledge about zine-making.
“We plan to run it like the Zineathon last semester,” said Comes, regarding Design Week. “Everyone can make a zine, no experience necessary, and we’ll print and bind it together. As a design major, I know a lot of us are all really interested in zines but haven’t had the opportunity to really make anything so getting the club started again in time for Design week is perfect.”
If you are interested in joining the Zine Collective, meetings are held on Thursdays at 8 p.m. in the Create Space in the Sojourner Truth Library. For more information, follow the club’s Instagram, @npzines.