boardwalk Celebrating and empowering creativity.

The Jail-Prison Zine Project will offer participants at the Otis Bantum Correctional Center on Rikers Island, the Metropolitan Detention Center, and Brooklyn Detention Center the chance to create and edit the content of their own zine for the purpose of distributing it in all the facilities by library staff during regular mobile library service already provided by BPL. There will also be the option of sharing it with a wider audience if the participants so desire. Inside these facilities incarcerated people who sign-up for this project will participate in a variety of different workshops offered by BPL library staff, as well as different partners.

We are hoping to bring workshops that have already taken place at the Shelby White and Leon Levy Information Commons of the Central Library. These workshops include “Building Your Story: Making a Zine Memoir,” taught by Elvis B. author of the zine “Homos in Herstory,” and “Drawing Your Comic World” taught by Brooklyn-based artist Jan Descartes. We are also going to partner up with NY Writers Coalition to offer participants instruction on self-editing. Participants will be given the space to create content in variety of different mediums, ranging from writing, comics and artwork with the assistance of these workshops. Once the content has been created, participants will then collaborate in putting together the final product so as to provide them with a sense of autonomy and ownership over this zine. The design and editing of the final product will require participants to choose the order and layout of the content, which writings to pair with which pieces of art, the design of the front cover, and the drafting of an introduction. Given the physical constraints of jail and prisons, the group will be made up from participants of one facility, but the opportunity will be offered to other facilities when a new edition is produced every quarter. This project is meant to empower participants through the use of art, and as a way to relate to each other and express their lived experiences through a medium chosen by them.

This proposal was created for Outreach Services.

This proposal aligns with the following Core Principles of Brooklyn Public Library:

To strengthen relations between residents and promote civic engagement,   To provide inclusive and inspirational places.

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