The Denver Zine Library has declared February the month of online fundraising, to help "sustain and grow the zine community in the Denver area," says DLZ co-founder and longtime caretaker Kelly Shortandqueer.
At the start of February, the group launched a month of events and awareness-raising campaigns, but instead of desperately treading water, this time DZL is all about taking it to the next level. "It feels amazing to be fundraising when we're not in a crisis," says Shortandqueer (the handle Kelly is known by in the zine community).
In the nine years of DZL's existence, the organization has been through many ups and downs -- from winning one of the first Westword MasterMind awards to being homeless for a time. From its original home in a shed in the Baker neighborhood, the entire collection (one of the world's largest) was moved across the city to The Other Side Arts. A few years later, financial problems forced the zine library to once again pack up its nearly 10,000 homemade titles, moving them all into a storage facility, where they would remain for a one-year hiatus.
In the summer of 2010 the punk/queer athenaeum found a new home at the recently developed 27 Social Centre, a radical collective of artists, humanitarians and political activists in the Jefferson Park neighborhood. "Its been a great fit for DZL" says Shortandqueer, "It's a publicly accessible space that houses some really incredible projects, which brings people through the DZL who wouldn't have known we existed otherwise."
On Friday, February 17, the DLZ will host zine publishers from across the country at the 27 Social Centre for an evening of music and zine readings by Annah Anti-Palindrome (Oakland), On a Clear Day (Seattle) and, of course, the iconic Kelly Shortandqueer. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. with admission on a sliding scale of $5 to $10 (although no one will be turned away).
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"With this campaign we're hoping to cover operating expenses for the year, raise money to buy supplies to enhance our zine workshops and classes, and to start planning for the next Denver Zine Fest," says Shortandqueer. Find out more about the campaign or make a donation here.
And the 27 Social Centre, which hosts a number of treasured local organizations besides DZL, including P&L Printing, Denver Anarchist Black Cross, Colorado Street Medics and Sent(a)mental Studios, is also embracing the fundraising season with an event of its own. On Saturday, February 18, DZL will join with the Centre's other occupants at the Secret Café Brunch, a vegan/diabetic friendly, gluten-free meal of waffles, quiche, biscuits and gravy, and a banana breakfast sundae. The brunch runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; admission is $5 to $12 on a sliding scale.