San Francisco Zine Fest

is creating a community for DIY publishers and artists

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General Support!

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Thank you! You're helping make SFZF accessible for your next favorite zinester! And you get full access to our occasional behind-the-scenes updates and interviews.

Pledge $5 or more per month

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Thanks and early access to new content whether that is a new comic or zine made by SF Zine Fest organizers or sneak peak into new zine workshops, featured artists or readings led by SF Zine Fest organizers.

Pledge $10 or more per month

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Our thanks, early access to festival Table Map, and you can pick up a festival poster designed by our guest of honor.




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About San Francisco Zine Fest

San Francisco Zine Fest was founded in 2001, as a gathering place for underrepresented Bay Area writers and artists. Today, thanks to the efforts of countless volunteer organizers, SFZF has become the oldest and largest DIY publishing festival in Northern California.

Once a year at the County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park, we bring together 200+ exhibitors from the Bay Area and beyond, along with workshops, panels, and readings, and we do it all as a volunteer organization, with minimal exhibitor fees and free admission. In 2018, we met the needs of our communities by having two ASL interpreters at panels and workshops; we implemented a sliding-scale registration fee so artists didn't feel discouraged from lack of funds; free admission to all events; free wheelchair-accessible shuttles to and from the festival venue to BART; curated festival lineup for greater presence of first-time creators and historically disenfranchised communities.

During 2019, we welcomed more than 5000 people through our doors in just six hours, we led 11 zine-making workshops, hosted four readings, a pop-up zine fest, a karaoke night, and held a zine picnic. Phew! And, we still have more events coming up!

The Bay Area has a long-lived and dedicated creative community! And we're honored to be part of it. 

However, in the nineteen years that we've been around, the Bay Area has become one of the toughest places in the country to be an artist. The same unprecedented rents that are forcing people out of their neighborhoods have long since been forcing people out of their art practices. We've seen how it's impacted our lineup from year to year, as longtime exhibitors move away or are made to 'retire' from creating; we've seen how it's impacted our own planning team, as our most dedicated organizers announce that they no longer have time outside of work.

And, of course, our own expenses have gone up. Since 2007, we've been lucky to have a home for our exhibitors in the 13,000 sq. ft. County Fair Building, but our costs go up every year — even as we scale back. Unless we do something now, our displacement, and the displacement of our exhibitors, isn't a question of if but of when.

For those of us who believe that art's first role is to be the voice of the disenfranchised, this is a worst-case scenario. So we've been asking ourselves: is San Francisco Zine Fest, founded on the idea that art should be accessible to everyone, truly doing its part?

In other words,  What does a truly accessible arts scene look like?

Organizer Anand Vedawala (left) and Guest of Honor Lawrence Lindell (right) at SFZF 2019.

Our highest purpose as a countercultural space is to make artists welcome, especially those artists who are told they aren't welcome anyplace else: that's people of color, women, queer and trans folks, undocumented immigrants, people with disabilities, and everyone else who's been pushed out of artistic legitimacy by cultural, financial or physical means. If we aren't working specifically to benefit those folks, then we aren't a worthwhile 'alternative' to anything. So!  In the last few years, we've: 

  • adopted a safer-spaces policy and posted it, in giant letters, on the walls of every room of our event
  • paid for ASL interpretation at our artist spotlight Q&A and captured it on video
  • arranged for a free wheelchair-accessible shuttle from 16th St. BART t the County Fair Building, for exhibitors and attendees alike, to reduce the unequal burden of time and transit expenses  
  • switched our exhibitor selection process from a first-come-first-served system to an application system, allowing us to push the call for entries beyond our immediate circles and to give priority to first-time exhibitors  
  • paid travel stipends to our guests of honor and panelists, to help ensure that the disenfranchised voices that we want to raise up aren't also disenfranchised from our own festival  
  • partnered with organizations and venues like San Francisco Public Library, Oakland Public Library, Berkeley Public Library, SF Center for the Book, Perfectly Queer Literary Readings, Alley Cat Books, Adobe Books, Mission: Comics, Pegasus Books, RADAR, the Cartoon Art Museum and more, to host more events throughout the year so that our community has as many chances as possible to come out and be around each other.  

An we've done all this while keeping all of our events free to the public, and our exhibitor fees at a reasonable amount ($45 for a half-table in 2019).

But we need to do much more to keep up with the changes in the Bay Area. So, as of March 2016, San Francisco Zine Fest has nonprofit status through our fiscal sponsor the Intersection for the Arts, a 501(c)3. That means we can apply for grants, issue receipts for tax-deductible donations, and accept in-kind donations of goods and services. In other words, we've opened up a slew of new ways to fund the festival without cutting back on accessibility.

And this is where you come in.

Though our Patreon account, you sign up to make an automatic monthly donation to San Francisco Zine Fest in an amount of your choosing. We put that money to work to continue making our festival a welcoming home for the artists who need it most — through language access resources, through physical accessibility measures, through scholarships and travel stipends, through just running a well-organized festival — and through paid organizer positions, so that the next year's festival isn't shaped solely by anyone's access to spare time.

In exchange, you'll get something that we hope you'll find valuable for a very long time: the artist community you want to see in the world. (We'll throw a couple of other bonuses your way too.)

Exhibitor Amy Wibowo (Bubblesort Zines), SFZF 2019

Any amount, no matter how small it may seem to you, makes you a fully-fledged funder, with full access to our occasional behind-the-scenes content and interviews. And every dollar you pledge will get someone that much further in the door, that much more comfortable talking about their work, that much more capable of providing support to their own friends and loved ones. 

We hope you'll consider donating today, whether or not you consider yourself an artist (you are) and whether or not you think you'll ever table at a zine fest (you should). We'll keep doing the best we can for you and for our entire community.

Exhibitors Dus T' (Dustooned) and Nicky Rodriguez at SFZF 2019

Exhibitors Transgender Cancer Patient Project at SFZF 2019

Exhibitors Debby Huey (Bumperboy) and Nova (Cute Kids Magazines) at SFZF 2019

All our best, and we hope to see you soon, on either side of a table!
$54.05 of $500 per month
In 2018, thanks to several grants, San Francisco Zine Fest was able to provide stipends to its organizers, workshop leaders, readers, guest artists, event partners, pay for an additional wheelchair accessible shuttle, another ASL interpreter, provide supplies for our workshops, and many more things. BUT, we can't always rely on receiving grants. So as we grow in 2019, we need help raising funds for paying guest artists, application reviewers, and other folks for the work they put in, along with continuing to provide year long programming in the Bay Area.
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 3 exclusive posts
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 3 exclusive posts

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