A workshop for Braddock kids spawns a show of zines. | Literary Arts | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

A workshop for Braddock kids spawns a show of zines.

The Braddock Carnegie Library boasts of being "America's oldest library," but it won't be showing its advanced years when it hosts The Zine Scene, on Sat., July 28.

The Zine Scene will showcase zines created by day-campers in UPMC Braddock's Health for Life Summer Camp. Eighteen 9-year-olds have been working on their zines since mid-June, and have created a gallery-style exhibit that will show off their work.

A zine is a low-circulation self-made or handmade magazine. It can be about whatever its maker is interested in, and employ whatever media can be fit onto a folded piece of computer paper.

The day-camper's zines span the spectrum from cars, jewelry and sports to trips to Mars, and even poetry, said Kelly Rottmund, graduate student in the University of Pittsburgh's Information Science School and The Zine Scene program moderator.

"A lot of them are showing a lot of promise," Rottmund says about the young zinesters. "They all have been incredibly creative."

To give the kids as many creative outlets as possible, Rottmund and Braddock Carnegie librarian Heather Mantella enlisted Carnegie Mellon graduate student John Pena to teach them how to use digital cameras and how to compose their photographs.

"Not all the kids like to write or are good at drawing," Rottmund says. "So we gave them the option of using photographs that they took around the neighborhood."

The children were also taught how to do screenprinting, using equipment from the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. Many of the kid's big screenprints will be shown at The Zine Scene.

In a world of blogs and chatrooms, paper copies of self-made magazines may seem outdated. On the other hand, what could be more "today" than tomorrow's artists, journalists, authors and photographers honing their creative skills before they blow out the candles for their 10th birthday?

The Zine Scene 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., July 28 (3-5 p.m. reception). Braddock Carnegie Library, 419 Library St., Braddock. Free. 412-351-5356

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