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McCANN: Creativity in Quarantine — Welcome Leeds’ new zine

On Sept. 25, the Leeds Center for the Arts and editor Rebecca Campomanes digitally released volume 1, issue 1 of its new zine, CiQ online.

The zine (short for magazine) is an online-only literary journal that will be published every two weeks; the second issue was published today.

People from across the nation and locally may submit their art, poems, essays, photos, stories, recipes, doodles and ramblings for possible inclusion in a future “zine.”

According to Campomanes, “The first issue is free to access online. The current and future issues will be accessible for $1.”

Issues will release every two weeks “until the creativity runs out.”

Any form of creativity will be considered. To submit or if you have questions, comments or concerns contact Rebecca.Campomanes@leedscenter.org.

Following is a brief email interview with Campomanes about the zine and her vision for it.

In a few instances her answers have been edited for brevity or clarity.

BM: Why CiQ?

RC: At Leeds Center for the Arts our mission is to energize the community through the beauty and emotional power of the arts and new educational opportunities. Creativity in Quarantine (CiQ) is a way for Leeds to carry on its mission while keeping socially distanced.

 

BM: From where did the idea come?

RC: CiQ (pronounced sick) — Creativity in Quarantine  came into my consciousness in May after it became clear Leeds would be shut down for a year instead of a few weeks.

What could Leeds do instead?

There was, and is, a huge need to connect to each other right now. We are in our own homes and our own thoughts.

CiQ is a way for us to recognize how our acts of creativity (no matter how little or large) are what make us human and can help us cope with everything that is going on.

Especially after the social unrest that began in late May, there has been so much uncertainty in the world.

Creativity doesn’t provide the “answers” but is a way people can explore their emotions, thoughts and whatever question marks come across us.

 

BM: Why a zine?

RC: Zines came out of the punk-rock scene of the 80s; with a DIY attitude to unite a community.

I wanted to make something for and by the Leeds community. It’s not a slick high-brow arts magazine, but something anyone can be part of.

We are all traveling through a weird, difficult time and creativity is a way for anyone to express their humanity during this time. I didn’t want to exclude anyone who was wanting to share their creativity in whatever form it came out.

 

BM: Who can contribute?

RC: Anyone. We had some discussion of why we opened it up nationally with all age/skill levels. Here are some points I shared of why it’s anyone:

At Leeds we want to expose our local community to a wide range of art.

We want to expose young folks to professional creatives. Juxtaposing youth work next to a professional’s opens the door to their future life as a creative. Many times, young people’s creativity is displayed on it’s own, which sends the message that creativity is for kids/childish. That is not true; adults need to express their humanity, too.

CiQ gives professional artists opportunities to share their work through an established arts non-profit.

If we expect the Leeds kids to enter creative professions, we must support the folks who are currently creative professionals.

 

BM: What kinds of articles and art are you looking for?

RC: Any acts of creativity — doodles and ramblings, home improvement projects and recipes, poems and paintings, anything and everything.

The only stipulation is that it must be your content. You can quote or reference another source but we want your creativity to shine.

Creators of mature content can make a case for inclusion. Its publication will be at the discretion of Leeds Center for the Arts/Winchester Council for the Arts.

Your creativity does not have to be COVID-related, but we do prefer creativity that was done since the pandemic started.

 

Bill McCann is a playwright, poet, flash fiction writer and teacher who writes about arts events and personalities. He can be reached at wmccann273@gmail.com.