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August 11, 2023

The Last Weeks, THE ZINE ZONE!! and Signing off :,) -Carin Carrion BFA Illustration 2025

by ccarcas

Hi everyone! So, my last two weeks here have been busy yet once again very exciting! In the beginning of last week, I checked in with my supervisor and during our conversation the topic of artist housing came up. Ian my supervisor had told me about my coworker Ebon who had past experience in artist housing in Portland, so around the middle of last week I was able to schedule a meeting with Ebon to interview zim on zir experience and thoughts.

Ebon’s artist housing experience specifically was with a place called Milepost 5 during the time frame of July 2019 and November 2020. Milepost 5 was initially presented as an affordable housing space for artist to live and work, however by the time Ebon had arrived the priorities of the housing became more capitalistically focused instead of prioritizing artists. There was also a shift in property management after Milepost 5 was no longer politically backed by Sam Adams who has previously been a mayor of Portland. Ebon recounted to me the various concerning experiences ze observed and lived through during zir time there. Not only was there the concerning presence of asbestos in the building but there was also the limited facilities available to the residents at Milepost 5 such as having one micro fridge instead of a full fridge in each common area per floor when it was not common for a majority of resident to have a kitchen space in their home. Facilities gradually became less attended to which also included the security of the building which in result would have unhoused people or people in crisis entering the building and setting up camp there or being disruptive and creating a potentially unsafe environment to live in. During Ebon’s time there during the summer there were wildfires which lead to Portland’s air quality being very poor but being indoors at Milepost 5 would not be enough as Ebon recount how ze had to close zirself in zir bathroom with a covering over the lower doorway crack for a semblance of breathable air due to the windows in zir housing being so poor they would no close properly. Ebon told me how ze and other residents of Milepost 5 at the time had collectively banded together to bring their complaints to owners and property management however the communities concerns and needs where not being taken in and problems where still unsolved. This would then lead residents to leave, apply for rental assistance to find a new place. Eventually Ebon would leave as well in late 2020, but zir experience does further highlight the need for affordable housing, but also housing which the integrity of the building in terms of its goals and mission is maintained. From what Ebon disclosed to me from what ze learned from residents who had been at Milepost 5 during the beginning of its initial establishment, the housing had been well maintained, affordable artist housing but once there was no longer political backing and changes in building ownership the mission was no longer a priority. Ebon expressed how if a project like Milepost 5 where to every happen again there needed to be a consistent politically backing, committee made up by residents which could have a say in the maintenance of the building and if the property ownership where to change.

On the note of community assistance, last week I had finalized the designs for the Q Center’s Career Closet and Marsha P Fund logos YAY! Thanks to the learning experience that was formatting Apple the Crow to a printable vector file I was able to do the same with both logos to leave for my coworkers in case they needed to print the logos on anything in the future. Finalizing these logos in the aftermath of Apple the Crow allowed me to consider a lot of things when I got to the final design and coloring process. For example, there would be only so make colors I could make the logo with as if the logo ever where to be printed there would be a limit to about 16 colors to reasonably print, there was also the aspect of linework were I have to consider linework that was too thin would not guarantee it being printed. I really got to get my hands pretty dirty with Photoshop and a little bit with Illustrator during this internship and it make me really happy to have used these new deepened skills for community projects. Before and during my internship my coworkers expressed how having a logo for these projects, especially with the Marsha P. Fund would be really helpful in providing the community with a visual to bring more attention to them and in turn more support.

Now for my next and pretty much final order business was the ZINE ZONE!!! Before my internship had started, I had found out the Q Center had a library for the community I really wanted to see in what ways I could incorporate my excitement for zines and the means it can connect the artist community together from a LGBTQIA+ hub that is the Q Center. However, with management changes holding a zine event became not much of a feasible option so PLAN B! I talked with my coworker Julie, and I found out we had a couple of zines which we didn’t quite know where to organize to, so we decided on a pretty spacious shelf in the corner of the library, and I got to crafting. I made my proposal last week and got approval to create a post for Q Center social media for zine donations! With the crafting paper we had in the office I also made a silly sign for the ZINE ZOONEE!! Yeah, that pretty wraps up everything. I’ve been coordinating with artist for picking up their gallery artworks and I’ve also been getting inquires on if another gallery show like this will happen again which was a bit hard for me to give an answer for. Neverless I do think from the positive community reception of the gallery I have hope more community galleries will happen in the future!

During my time at the Q Center, I saw the many ways it provides a safe space for the community to come together and the constant potential it has to continue growing. I feel very honored to have worked in a space such as the Q Center this summer and the opportunities I had to learn and grow with it. Anyway, this is Carin signing off and I wish you all a happy Friday! 🙂

my best friend Lily is also signing off LOL!
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