Zine Fests Focus On Handmade Publications, Art In Tampa Bay Area

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Arts & Entertainment Zine Fests Focus On Handmade Publications, Art In Tampa Bay Area Two upcoming events —​ Tampa Zine Fest on Feb. 10 followed by the St. Pete Zine Fest on Feb. 17 —​ celebrate handmade, DIY publications.
Two upcoming events —​ Tampa Zine Fest on Feb. 10 followed by the St. Pete Zine Fest on Feb. 17 —​ celebrate handmade, DIY publications. (Courtesy of Kaitlin Crockett)
TAMPA BAY, FL — Despite the increasing reliance on technology in this digital age, there’s still a space for handmade, do-it-yourself publications in the community, according to area artists and organizers.
Two upcoming events will showcase these works, which will be available for trade and sale. Tampa Zine Fest takes place Feb. 10, 6 to 10 p.m., at Southern Brewing & Winery in Tampa.
St. Pete Zine Fest & Symposium is set for Feb. 17, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at West Community Library at St. Petersburg College’s West Community Library. Zines are “self-published largely underground publications that are usually inexpensive and easy to take copies of and pass out and they get shared from hand to hand a lot or get mailed across the country or around the world,” Micaela Lydon of Palm Harbor, a Tampa Zine Fest organizer, told Patch. “There are a lot of roots in counterculture and punk rebellion around getting information shared that wasn’t the mainstream.”
Kaitlin Crockett, Print St. Pete owner, SPC librarian and organizer of the St. Pete Zine Fest, told Patch, “The easiest way I explain zines to people is they’re magazines except independently published or self published.” She added, “The thing that I love about zines is they can be about or be anything. People make zines about nerdy special interests or poems or drawings made in a sketchbook or important information that they want to get out to the community that is not covered in mainstream media.”
These DIY publications are important as so many people turn online for information and connection. “I think they’re important because of the ease of access,” Lydon said. “There’s not a huge paywall, they’re largely easy to produce and disperse, and they’re easy to pass from person to person or easy to mail to one another.”
Crockett said, “They’re often made on a copy machine and quickly run off and stapled or hand sewn. I find that charming when today everything is so clean or digital. It’s nice to be able to hold something in your hand that’s made by someone and also meet the person who made it.” Both zine fests feature dozens of zinemakers, artists and other types of creators. Tampa Zine Fest welcomes live music and poets to the stage, and will have food trucks on site. St. Pete Zine Fest will offer zine workshops, readings by local writers, and presentations on various topics, including zines as alternative art therapy.

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