Why Make Zines for Community Communication?

A zine (pronounced zeen) is a small DIY self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, often produced via photocopier. The format of making zines—unencumbered by rules relating to form, function, or purpose—allows makers to share stories about anything. As preservationists work to expand the narrative on saving old places, make preservation inclusive, and reach new audiences, zines are one strategy you should add to your toolkit.

window zine examples from previous years

Crafts, from signmaking to murals, have seen an uptick in recent years, empowering individuals to get their message out. This last year especially has removed meeting places and many traditional ways of building community. Making zines is one way to expand outreach and increase  your exposure.

How to Run a Zine Making Workshop

By learning how to run a zine making workshop, you are learning:

  • Tactics to create a concept for a communication campaign.
  • Methodologies to create a zine as a storytelling strategy.
  • How to create captivating imagery.
  • New ways to use archival resources.

Your zine workshop participants will learn how to curate their own personalized publication to voice their perspective, a community story, or a collaborative initiative on a topic that connects with them.

Zine Workshop Video

Watch three experts run their own zine workshop. Click here for the entire workshop including how to encourage participants, what conversations need to be happening, and all participants making zines.

Zine Workshop Speakers

Sarah Marsom

Sarah Marsom’s work as a heritage resource consultant is rooted in empowering the next generation of community advocates and increasing representation of lesser known histories. With 10+ years of experience working in the cultural resources field, Sarah specializes in education and outreach strategies in addition to strategic planning. In 2018, Sarah was recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as the recipient of the American Express Aspire Award during the 2018 National Preservation Awards and as an honoree of the  inaugural 40 Under 40: People Saving Place’s list.  

Sarah has been published as a contributor in Historic Preservation: An Introduction to Its History, Principles, and Practice (3rd ed.), Belt Publishing’s Columbus Anthology, and numerous zines. Her work has been featured in Curbed, Traditional Building Magazine, and the National Parks Service’s LGBTQ America Theme Study, amongst other publications and podcasts.

Nimisha Bhat

Nimisha Bhat (she/her/hers) is Visual Arts Librarian at Smith College’s Hillyer Art Library in Northampton, Massachusetts. She promotes methodologies and tools of in arts, film & media studies, and landscape studies for research, teaching, and learning, as well as engaging the art community through library services and collections. She provides visual & information literacy support and outreach to students, faculty, and staff through a critical and intersectional lens.

Kristina Damschen Spina


Kristina is the VP of Marketing for Indow, a window insert company that provides an alternative to replacement. She joined Indow in 2012 and brings 17 years of experience in media and event production, working with prestigious international companies such as the English National Opera and Bonhams Art Auctioneers. Her BA in Theatrical Design & Production, and her minor in Art History, inspired several creative historic preservation community projects such as the Window Hero Webinars and Young Preservationists annual events. 

mini zine template

Download Your Own Mini Zine Template

This mini zine template is an easy resource for making zines or zine workshops. Even if someone is completely new to making zines, this one sheeter explains everything you need to create one, including step-by-step visual instructions.

How to make a mini zine

Community Feedback

“At the end of the campaign my appreciation for historic preservation grew along with the need to uplift those who have already been doing the work to highlight nondominant, reflexive and community-driven historic preservation.” -Lillyanne Pham, Indow Community Engagement Intern

Lillyanne led community engagement for our 2020 zine which meant collecting submissions and curating stories from those already engaging the community in historic preservation. She came as an outsider to historic preservation and left with a deep appreciation for how art activism can recenter the conversation. Read her full article Seeing Places to Saving Stories.

self created illustration of Indow Community Engagement Intern expressing gratitude

Follow Us to For Zine Ideas & Community Conversation

We have our own Window Zine that we’ve published with the help of our community for a few years now. Feel free to read through our online zine library for ideas and inspiration. 

Zine Library

Or, follow us on Instagram to get the latest updates on our next edition. We’ll also be posting previews and features from last years’ artists. It may help spark your imagination for zine ideas. If you’d like to contribute, please visit our zine submission page for details.

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