The CitiZINE Project


The CitiZINE Project was co-founded in 2016 by Lesley Graybeal and Kristen Spickard in the Division of Outreach and Community Engagement at the University of Central Arkansas. The CitiZINE Project explores what it means to be a citizen and how to actively participate in moving society toward a common good, by providing an opportunity for personal symbolic expression using zinemaking.

Zines are small, self-published booklets used as a way for people to express ideas about special-interest topics. Zines can contain comics, photos, stories, recipes, drawings, poetry, essays, interviews, diary entries, or anything else you can imagine. Zines are reproduced inexpensively (typically photocopied) and shared to help raise awareness to a cause or simply to shed light on important issues of the times.

When citizens and zines come together you get The CitiZINE Project–-a unique way to achieve unity in society while creating points of empathy necessary to move toward a more civil and unified state, especially during times when society and civil liberties are the most volatile.

The CitiZINE Project has facilitated zinemaking workshops in Conway since 2016. In 2020, we were invited to participate in the Suffrage Centennial Celebration hosted by the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Central Arkansas.

Due to COVID-19, The CitiZINE Project went virtual for the 2020 series of workshops, which centered around the history of voting rights in the United States. Several workshops were led live virtually via Zoom, including workshops with UCA academic classes, Bethlehem House, the Bohemia Cares Self-Love Conference, and the Conway chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma. The CitiZINE Project provided a pre-recorded version of the workshop for the 14th annual Conway ArtsFest, which was held virtually. The pre-recorded workshop may be viewed here: Part 1, Part 2

Suffrage Centennial Arts Reception
The culmination of the 2020 series of workshops was an outdoor, socially-distanced arts reception as part of the Suffrage Centennial Celebration at the University of Central Arkansas, hosted by the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Standout zine pages were selected from all submitted zines and enlarged to create posters, which were displayed outdoors on a series of clotheslines. Viewers were invited to take home copies of zines or take a blank zine and create one of their own. Other work featured at the arts reception included Suffrage Rugs by Sharon Louden, and United: The Acorn Project by Liz Smith.

Virtual Exhibit
Following the Suffrage Centennial arts reception, UCA Downtown hosted a virtual exhibition of the zine posters featured at the reception. As part of the virtual exhibit, online viewers also had the option to download digital copies of any zines they would like to print to keep or share.