Kemper Museum Teen Arts Council opens submissions for its second-annual zine

A page from the 2021 zine. // Courtesy Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

A page from the 2021 zine, created by Leyna Jurco. // Courtesy Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art’s Teen Arts Council is producing its second annual zine, titled “Here We Are.”

The zine project began in 2020 as a way for the Teen Arts Council to produce a collaborative, creative project while they could not be together during the height of the pandemic. 

It featured original photography and poetry inspired by Dawoud Bey’s  “Selections from Night Coming Tenderly, Black” exhibit that ran at the Kemper from Oct. 10, 2020 to March 7, 2021.

In “Remember This Place”—the name of the first zine—teens wrote poems to pair with their own images taken on disposable cameras just as Bey selected a Langston Hughes poem to accompany his body of work.

“Here We Are” is inspired by Aliza Nisenbaum’s “Aquí Se Puede (Here You Can)” exhibit running at the museum from Aug. 19, 2021 to July 31, 2022.

Nisenbaum’s work includes large-scale portraits of individuals in Kansas City’s salsa music and dance communities. The bright paintings hang in the atrium of the Kemper and were created based on Nisenbaum’s video conversations with people in the KC salsa communities.

A page from the 2021 zine. // Courtesy Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

A page from the 2021 zine, created by Ella Conner. // Courtesy Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

The Kemper Museum’s Teen Arts Council is inviting submissions of photography and poetry that are inspired by culture, music, community, and individuality—the varying themes found in“Aquí Se Puede (Here You Can).” 

“This project has become a wonderful opportunity for the Teen Arts Council members to engage with the work of contemporary artists on view at Kemper Museum to inspire their own artmaking,” said Ellie Closen, multigenerational programs coordinator at Kemper Museum. “The result is a creative publication that documents this unique time in history through the eyes of Kansas City teens.”

Anyone ages 13-19 years old can submit their original photography and poetry. Questions to begin the creative process include “Who do you love? Where do you feel loved?”; “What community inspires you? What community do you feel connected to and why?”; “Who are you in your community that you are not elsewhere?”; “What makes you who you are?”; and “What challenges has your community overcome?”.

A free page-making night will be held Feb. 3, 2022. Teens interested in contributing to the project will be able to connect with their peers at the museum and work together on their pages of the zine.

“Here We Are” will be available in the spring of next year on the Teen Arts Council website. A limited number of printed zines will also be available for free in the museum shop.

Interested teens can submit their page at the February 3 page-making night. Email Ellie Closen at by Feb. 1, 2022, to register. In the email, include your photos and poems if you would like them printed or bring your own prints. Art supplies for page-making will be provided.

If you cannot attend the page-making night but still want to submit a page to the zine, email to make arrangements to mail in or drop off a submission.

Categories: Culture