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KICKSTARTER Launches BLUESTOCKINGS COMICS FEST to Showcase Queer and Trans Creators

Bluestockings Comics Fest logo
Credit: Kickstarter

Press Release

Kickstarter PBC is excited to host the 2020 Bluestockings Comics Fest at their Greenpoint, Brooklyn headquarters on Saturday, July 18. Free and open to the public from 11AM to 6PM, this event is designed to celebrate and showcase comics by queer and trans creators. The fest will include panels and professional development workshops, as well as a wide range of exhibitors. Unlike other comics events and conferences, Kickstarter and Bluestockings Comics will not be charging a table fee, ensuring creators will have the opportunity to maximize their earnings

“Too often, the arts are a pay-to-play game,” said Camilla Zhang, Comics Outreach Lead at Kickstarter. “Making a living as an artist is hard enough, and when you’re exhibiting at a convention or festival, you have to hustle to make enough sales to break even on table fees, along with food, lodging, and travel costs. That’s why we decided to cover all the table fees—$2,000 in total to Bluestockings— as well as providing lunch for vendors and staff, and offering stipends to workshop leaders.”

Bluestockings is a volunteer-powered, collectively-owned radical bookstore and activist center in New York City. Kickstarter is proud to align with Bluestockings’ mission of providing literature and resources about oppression, intersectionality, community organizing, and activism, and sharing the stories of marginalized people. 

“This is truly a unique partnership, because comics conventions are normally run by a single organization whose entire business model runs on conventions,” said Joan Dark, Events Coordinator at Bluestockings. “Since Bluestockings and Kickstarter work to uplift creators and support marginalized communities, the fest is a natural extension of wanting to do as much as we can to directly support queer and trans comics artists.”

Camilla and Joan are seeking guidance from members of the Festival Workers Association to ensure the event is completely made for and by the comics community. Our goal is that both long-standing comics professionals and emerging artists can use this event to make meaningful connections with each other and with comics fans.

With space for up to 40 exhibitors at this time, the festival is primarily looking to showcase queer and trans people of color, gender non-conforming folx, immigrants, low-income creators, disabled folx, intersex folx, Middle Eastern + Arab + North African creators, East + South Asian creators,  indigenous creators, and marginalized creators as a whole who are excluded for one reason or another from popular narratives.

Creators can apply here. Folks who are unable to attend can still have a chance to sell their books at the Bluestockings table and can use the same application, which closes at Midnight EST on Sunday, February 28. Workshop and panel applications can be found hereand will close at Midnight EST on Sunday, March 8. Stipends will be offered to workshop leaders. All applications will go through a curation process overseen by Bluestockings volunteers and Kickstarter representatives, with a focus on black and brown creators and folx working to highlight social justice issues. 

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