Shocking fact: I don’t like capitalism. I work at a non-profit. I love non-profits! Unfortunately, this has been a very tough year for non-profits. Funding is drying up when the services non-profits offer are more vital than ever. Many non-profits are serving more constituents than ever with less money. It’s that time of year when we spend lots of dough on gifts. For the next few weeks I’m going to highlight my favorite non-profits with this new feature, Non-Profit Lovefest. I encourage you to donate to all of them for their end of the year campaigns- they need it! Even $5 can be a great gift to a struggling non-profit.
An organization that’s very near and dear to me is the Independent Publishing Resource Center in Portland. I have been a member since 2003, my second summer in Orgeon. The IPRC is a magical land of zinester dreams. Housed in a small office above Reading Frenzy bookstore, the IPRC has a plethora of low cost workshops, a free library with over 10,000 zines, a letterpress printing studio, a computer lab, and a work room full of fun stuff. They have also branched out to doing community work and youth arts programs. I’m very passionate about media literacy, and excited to see the IPRC teaching classes all over Portland where they deconstruct media messages about gender and sexuality. They’ve also helped senior citizens make zines, put on the annual text ball (where you come dressed as text!), and recently purchased a perfect-bind bookbinder so you can make really professional looking books for very little money.
Zines meant the world to me as a teenager in the pre-internet age, and I’m glad to see the IPRC continuing to teach kids the beauty of glue-sticking magazine cut-outs to paper. I’ve always been obsessed with pop culture and zines gave me my first outlet for expressing my frustration with mainstream messages about girls. Some think blogs are killing zines, but the digital divide is still a huge issue, and zines don’t require expensive technology- just a good idea and some paper.
Right now the IPRC is part of the Willamette Week Give Guide, and if you give at least $25 to a single organization, you’ll get an envelope full of fun freebies! So give them some money.
I also recently directed this short film about the work the IPRC is doing. Please watch it and forward it to your friends!