DSTL Arts is a nonprofit arts mentorship organization that inspires, teaches, and hires emerging artists from underserved communities. Our mission is accomplished through a variety of programs for youth and adults that teach and develop skills in creative writing, zine-making, visual art, and publishing. Our programs produce a variety of publications, including our quarterly Conchas y Café Zine, featuring the creative writing by participants in our Conchas y Café creative writing workshops; our biannual Art Block Zine, featuring submitted artwork by emerging artists of all ages living in Los Angeles County, plus works submitted through our Art Block zine-making workshops; our Artist Residency Workshops program produces art and creative writing anthologies featuring artwork produced by workshop participants and our teaching artist team; and publications produced by our Arts Mentorship Program participants. Our goal is to empower emerging artists of all ages through support and education in the entrepreneurial side of the arts so that more voices from underrepresented cultures and communities are heard in our world.
The best part of zine-making is the empowerment of voices often underrepresented in the arts. It is our purpose in teaching zine-making that more people find the accessibility of the form as a new, and creative way of sharing their art and experiences. The more we're heard, the more understanding and empowered our communities will feel!
Zines do not have to be exclusive in their content. The flexibility and accessibility of the form gives everyone the opportunity share their unique voice, which is essential for cultural production. Our cultural capital does not, and should not, be pigeonholed into one common image of who we are as a community. Zines expand the view of our various cultures, while also giving individuals an opportunity to feel heard and represented within the larger community they identify with.
Zines can be as simple as a single sheet of paper, handprinted, photocopied, and stapled with other pages if you need more space. Zines are accessible in so many ways, and as long as you define it as a zine, then it is a zine. Find your voice, and continue to create art throughout that process. There will always be an audience for you. And you will always be welcome in one of our various programs offered in South LA and/or East LA!