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Chicago Zine Fest

Chicago Zine Fest Celebrates A Decade Of Showcasing The DIY Spirit Of Self-Publishers

On May 16-18, Chicago Zine Fest (CZF) will present its 10th annual celebration of independent publishers from the Chicago area and across the nation. With more than 250 exhibitors and 3,000 visitors expected to attend our three days of events this year, CZF is proud to be one of the largest zine fests in the United States.

Highlights of our 2019 festival include kickoff events at DePaul University on Thursday, May 16, readings by zinemakers and a zine-centric live game show on Friday, May 17, and an exhibition day featuring hundreds of exhibitors, interactive workshops, panel discussions, and more on Saturday, May 18, followed by an official afterparty. We're excited to welcome back many of our founding organizers and other friends of the fest as special guests this year.

CZF 2019 Poster by Neil Brideau.jpg

CZF 2019 gets rolling on the evening of Thursday, May 16 on the campus of DePaul University with a panel discussion about Zines + Social Justice and a visit to the zine archives and the Voices of Protest/Voces de Protesta exhibit at DePaul University Special Collection and Archives.

The panel will feature Anthony Rayson of South Chicago ABC Zine Distro, who has distributed free zines for and by people experiencing incarceration for 20 years, along with Casey Goonan of True Leap Press, Daisy Yessenia Zamora Centeno of Brown and Proud Press, Jonathan Valelly of Broken Pencil magazine, LizMarie Palomo of Xicx Zine Collective, and Vicki White of Chicago Books to Women in Prison.

The visit to the archives and exhibit will be held at 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. at DePaul University's John T. Richardson Library, Room 314, 2350 N. Kenmore Ave. in Lincoln Park. The panel discussion begins at 7 p.m. at the adjacent Levan Center, 2322 N. Kenmore Ave., Room 100.

Our annual Exhibitor Reading will be held at 6-8 p.m. Friday, May 17 at Quimby's Bookstore, 1854 W. North Ave. in Wicker Park. Zine creators exhibiting at this year's festival will share stories and comics as entertaining as they are moving. Following the reading, veteran zinemakers will test their knowledge as contestants on our live game show, Zine Jeopardy, which starts at 9 p.m. at Cards Against Humanity Theater, 1551 W. Homer St. in Bucktown.

The festival continues at 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, May 18 with our Exhibition Day featuring more than 250 self-publishers at Plumbers Union Hall, 1340 W. Washington Blvd. in the West Loop. Attendees will have the opportunity to buy and trade zines and comics made by exhibitors from Chicago and around the country.

CZF 2018 Exhibition Day by C E Hanifin.jpg

This year, CZF continues to expand its offerings for the next generation of zine creators. Our Exhibition Day, young zinemakers from all over the city will have the opportunity to meet each other and share their work. All entries to our 2019 Teen Poster Contest with Chicago Public Schools will be on display at the event, and the winner of the contest, Ri Davenport of Advanced Arts at Gallery 37, will be exhibiting his work. Youth organizations represented at the festival include 826CHI, YouMedia, Advanced Arts at Gallery 37, Pathways in Education-Ashburn, Hitch Elementary School, and more. Youth-friendly workshops and hands-on activities will be held throughout the day.

CZF offers the community ways to engage and learn through a selection of panels and workshops held during the festival. This year's offerings include Exploring Darkness, a panel discussion featuring women and non-binary people of color who create art related to horror, goth, and the occult, which will be moderated by artist, musician, and radical educator Anna Vo of Portland, Ore.; a panel discussion about trans voices and allyship; a hands-on bookbinding workshop by Beth Hetland of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and a roundtable discussion of zinemakers' first creations hosted by CHIPRC's Zine Club, a monthly book club-style event for people who read zines.

There also will be hands-on activities for all ages provided by Ag47 Collective, Spudnik Press Cooperative, and The WasteShed. There will be a photo booth by GlitterGuts, a hair styling station by Haircuts 4 Change, food trucks, a bake sale, and more! Also onsite will be the Read/Write Library's BiblioTreka mobile bike library, and Chicago Books to Women in Prison will be accepting book donations.

The fest wraps up with the CZF 2019 Official Afterparty featuring Shameless Karaoke with Joe and Liz Mason. The party gets started at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 18 at the Emporium Logan Square Pop-Up Space, 2367 N. Milwaukee Ave. This event is 21 and older.

Sponsors of the 2019 festival include Quimby's Bookstore, DePaul University Special Collection and Archives, The University of Chicago Library, Perfectly Acceptable Press, Broken Pencil Magazine, Cards Against Humanity, Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce, Field Notes, and Threadless. The CZF 2019 artwork was created by one of Chicago Zine Fest's founding organizers, Neil Brideau.

All CZF 2019 events are free and open to the public. Visit for more information.


Comments welcome.


Posted on May 6, 2019

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