Thursday, January 23, 2014

Deadline Extended for Dark 2014

We want to publish even more of the awesome creative work produced by womyn, so we're extending the deadline for Dark 2013/14 to February 21st! Time to get those hibernating butts in gear.

"Lady (de)Constructed" will be an exploration of the definitions of the terms "lady" and "woman." Society prescribes characteristics to a woman, and more specifically, a lady --a female that is reserved, submissive, and wouldn't dream of deviating from cultural norms. Of course the standards invented by our patriarchal society are impossible to meet. So where does that leave us? How can we use creativity to redefine lady and woman and girl and any other term referring to womyn into words that we can use with pride?

We want you to tells us what "lady" means to you. What pressures do you face to fit the standard definitions of femininity? What kinds of pressure do you face if you don't fit into those standards? Do you feel empowered by your feminine qualities? Do you feel pressure to shave your legs, or wear make up every day? What's it like for you to wear dresses and other feminine accoutrements? What are your thoughts on the feminist selfie? 

Tell us and show us what you've got.

Jourdan Dunn by Erwin Olaf

We can't wait to hear from you!

With all our hearts,

Friday, December 20, 2013

Winter's here! What's next

Hello all in!

Shieva, here. Just want to give you the updates and new happenings with C.L.A.P.

First and foremost, thank you to all the amazing supporters that gave their time and money to our kickstarter campaign. You and Ryn and I worked hard to continue to grow the amazing connections C.L.A.P. makes in the Twin Cities community and beyond. If you haven't received your gift in the mail yet, send us a quick email to remind us of our forgetfulness. Things have been busy on this end, so please don't take it to heart. We're still thinking of you.

Second we want to invite each and every one of you to contribute to the Winter 2013 issue coming out next. The theme is Lady (de)Constructed. What does the word "lady" mean to you? Do you use it refer to your girlfriends as a term of friendship and female connection? Do you think of it as an antiquated term? Let us know what you think in words or in visuals, and we'll put your work in our next issue. If you have any ideas for cover art, or know of someone that might be interested, please let us know at Details on contributing can be found on our Contribute page.

Third we will now be selling C.L.A.P. at Blue Moon Coffee Cafe in South Minneapolis on 38th and Lake Street. A big thanks to Jim for helping us make that happen. Blue Moon is right next door to the great mom-and-pop owned record shop Hymie's. Check them both out. A great way to spend an afternoon: peruse the fantastic record selection at Hymie's (perhaps for a holiday gift?) and then refuel at Blue Moon with a delicious coffee (excellent expresso) and pick up the newest issue of C.L.A.P.

Lastly we want to send all of you love and warmth this holiday season. How times flies! It's already close the new year. What are your new year's plans? What are your resolutions for 2014? Let us know in the comments below.

We'll see you soon.

All my best,
Shieva and Ryn
Mayors of

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Autumnal Equinox Updates

C.L.A.P. community, what's happening?

Summer's ended and fall is just beginning. We're going into a new season at C.L.A.P. as well.

Holly Hilgenberg, the sheriff of C.L.A.P. since its inception, has decided to focus her efforts on painting, her new house and her new career. She's handed over the editor duties to Ryn Gibson and myself, Shieva Salehnia. We've taken the oath of honor to protect and publish your work with the utmost care and respect.

With the blessing of the C.L.A.P. elders, we launched a Kickstarter campaign. We need your help to cover printing costs and to sponsor events around the Twin Cities community. The campaign is going on now through October 21st. Kirstin Olsen shot the film featuring several MPLS womyn, and features a smashing Kitten Forever track. Check out our video and project and gifts here: C.L.A.P. Kickstarter.

The Light 2013 issue is hot off the presses. Copies of "Make Art, Not War" will soon be available at our distributor locations. Inside you'll find illustrations, several essays, and even a recipe.

Twin Cities Zinefest was a success for us, and hopefully for all involved. It was really fun to meet so many people and to debut the new issue.

We're excited to start working with you and to hear from you all.

All the best,
Shieva and Ryn, the mayors of

Transitional Life Moment; Art in a Time of Unrest

The best thing about autumn is the finite changing. Leaves curl and slide their color scheme to the warm side of the palette. There's a tangible melancholy in the brisk and refreshing air. The Smiths are somehow constantly playing, although I never consciously put them on. I feel more awake than I did during the summer's humid daze, and more at ease than with spring's back-and-forth, hot-and-cold. Fall has an inevitability that is unparalleled in the seasons.

Perhaps I'm attached to autumn because I was born in October. (Welcoming birthday gifts as soon as tomorrow. Please email for details.) In astrology, there are three major signs that each person is assigned based on the month, day, time and location of their birth. Each essentially predicts your personality in various circumstances. I'm a Libra sun sign and moon sign, and a Sagittarius rising. To let you in on what that means: I'm artistic, diplomatic and nostalgic with a taste for the finer things in life. Those characteristics are prescribed and actually true. Apparently, and according solely to the book Sexual Astrology by Martine I found on the rim of a trashcan at the Uptown bus station, I also am incapable of deep emotional connections, and am incredibly frank. (Only one of those attributes relates to me. I’ll let you guess which one…)

Some people believe in the ability to predict one's path in life through a made-up science based on planet alignments and movement. Some people scoff at it. It seems likely that the time of year you were born affects your personality. When you begin to create memory probably makes the time of year nostalgic, or at least pleasant. Perhaps because I've always liked birthdays –the celebration, the cake, the gifts –that I associate positive feelings toward fall time, when I was birthed. With my love for changing leaves and butternut squash soup comes a seasonally melancholic reassessment of my life.

This year, I'm turning 25. This year I'm set for my quarter-life crisis.

I'm at a point in my life where every day, I ask myself the same question:

I ask myself for so many reasons. I ask myself because I don't yet have a "real" job, a career job, work that is relevant to the career I apparently chose for myself by picking a college major at 19.

You know what else happened when I was 19? I once got so drunk that I puked in the flower beds of Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland, waiting for Max to give me a ride home. (Max is the light rail system in Portland. It's not The Max; just Max.)

When I was 19, I also peed outside frequently because I thought it was hilarious. I wouldn't trust 19 year old me to do anything big or important. I just wanted to get tattoos and smoke cigarettes and drink with friends and find drugs. Ugh, talk about life goals.

Being young means you have time to grow and learn from the poor decisions you’ve made. (e.g. Don't eat oysters if there is a remote possibility that they've gone bad.) Being 19 is a fine way to kill a few brain cells, and learn from your mistakes. It is not, however, smart for 19 year olds to be charged with the responsibility of life-altering decisions.

Hey kid, make a plan for the rest of your life. That plan starts right now. BAM.  

Before I knew it, I was like every sap that wanted to go to school to be a writer, or a journalist. They teach you all the ways you should and shouldn't write, the way to be successful. They include footnotes on the trail blazers, the people that didn't follow the rules and are now known for their own groundbreaking styles. Why literary academic dickholes have to be so skeptical of change is beyond me. Scientists thrive of the new and unusual.

So I find myself here at my computer, on a Friday night no less, philosophizing the choices I made as a growing teenager obsessed with words and music, fashion and art. The good comes with the bad, etc. There aren't enough "words of wisdom" to wipe away my latter day sins; not enough chicken soup for this soul.

Now there are folks across the internet writing about how millenials can't find jobs with liberal arts degrees. I’ve quietly waited in my own desperation for adults over the age of 35 to understand the struggle I’ve faced, the emptiness I’ve felt when searching for jobs. All I’ve gotten is a bunch of twenty-something writers bitching right along with me.

I should feel comforted that my comrades share my grief. Finally, a voice like mine in the public discourse! But instead of accepting my angsty online peers, I roll my eyes at their logical explanations for my privileged unemployment.

Yeah, OK.

These bloggers and online personalities do have jobs. They get to write bullshit about my generation that is deemed credible based on the rest of their host site's somewhat justifiable content. Most pieces about millenials are garbage because they're so overgeneralizing and self-aggrandizing. (Am I a pot calling the kettle black?)

Please, random millenial on the internet, tell me why no person under the age of 35 has a creative job like the one you have right now.

There’s only so much “I’m-a-unicorn-AND-judgey” attitude I can swallow. Those writers probably made rash decisions at the age of 19 like I did.

All I know for sure is that I need to keep changing, and I need to keep creating. Even if my liberal arts degree has given me nothing but grief, at least now I know I’m not a journalist in the archetypal sense. Even if I’m not always diplomatic, or straightforward, I’ve learned that it’s good to be multifaceted, and that ultimately, I am the maker of my destiny (and the master of my domain).

Folks moving, folks starting or restarting school, folks getting married: this is the time you knew was going to happen and now, surprise, it is.

If you ain't a Virgo, you're a Libra. And if you ain't a Libra, you're a Scorpio. And after summer comes fall.

This program was brought to you in part by Tom Cruise and Mariah Carey.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

News! Upcoming Events!

If it seems like it's been a while since we got together for a chat, that's because it has been. At C.L.A.P. zine, we've been in the process of change and growth over the last few months. We'd like to get you all involved in what's happening.

First, we switched our printing schedule from quarterly to biannually. Time is hard to come by, and we want to give everyone the chance to sit down and contribute with care.

The deadline for Light 2013 issue - Make Art, Not War has been extended to Monday, September 2nd. Mark your calendars! You've got another month and a few days to put your great ideas out there and into the zine. You can reach us at Check out our Contribute page for FAQs, and feel free to email us with any further Q's you've got.

Second, we are lucky this year to be part of the Caffetto Craft Fair happening Sunday, August 18th from 11 am to 7 pm. Stop by and see what we've got to offer. (Hint: sweet stuff!)

We hope everyone is enjoying their summer and making the best of the sunshine.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Musings on Spirituality After the Singularity

by Katherine Hargreaves

1. It is no secret that language holds our creation story. Philosopher and theologian Philo Judaeus said, "language is an ecstatic activity of signification." A word brings ideas into being. In his trance stat the Mazatec shaman translates his vision: he speaks of a place outside time. Shapes and colors float by as he journeys through the mind. In his essay "The Mushroom of Language," Henry Munn describes how the "the shaman's words...indicate a creative activity neither outside the realm of reason or out of contact with reality." What is spoken of in the mushroom trance, he argues, is real.

2. Myths accrue meaning over time as cultures evolve. Language is the impulse of the living - it is a means of connecting our experiences to something larger. Similarly, the shaman operates with a sense of what the ancient Greeks called poiesis - or the verb to make. As Henry Munn notes, this word implies an act of transformation. The act of speaking breaches the void between separate worlds and strangers both.

Friday, June 7, 2013

You Can Get Paid for This?

Your dreams of being paid to make art can be reality

by Amalia Nicholson

When I was in art school there was constant chatter about who got what scholarship, who got the special exhibition wall for their senior showcase, and who would probably end up going to some ritsy grad school where they'd rub shoulders with Cindy Sherman and Robert Polidori. Competition is a great motivator for some people, but for me, it just brought out my insecurities about not being good enough. So I never tried. I would keep many ideas to myself and only share what I had to in class.

Once I graduated, the harsh reality that I no longer had access to equipment or even a computer drove to finally investigate the world of Minnesota arts funding in all of its glorious bounty. What I found is that there are a lot of organizations in this state that really, REALLY want to give you money to make art. It's just sitting there, and all you have to do is apply. So that's what I did.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Vagina Speak: Lion's Pose

Winter/Dark Issue 2012

If you are contemplating something, remember this

The universe will provide.

Here's a little story. A few years ago Chad wanted to find a huge painting of mountains with a lake and a tree. We had this sad blank wall space in our old apartment in Northeast Minneapolis, and he really thought it would tie the room together, so to speak...So months later, after hanging everything but this desired painting - including a stick found in the woods held up by two nails one night when we were hanging out with Dogboy, we gave up. Then one afternoon I came home to Chad and he was just hanging out in the living room, probably reading Two Towers or playing the banjo, and next to him was this four foot long landscape painting of mountains with a lake and a tree. He hadn't hung it yet.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Vagina Speak's Heart Center

Fall 2012: Peace, love, happiness

Vagina Speak sure has some talk for you this season. Actually, I'm pretty sure this "column" of sorts will from now on be from a new angle (angel?). Connecting our bodies with our spirits - a little contribution to making the world a happier place. Leave the mind out of the game, which is basically just an illusion that your ego wants you to play out anyway, am I right? Yes, turn your mind of and turn inward. Throw a blanket over the mirror, open the windows and burn some sage already!

So, now vagina speaks(s) to you not from our lulu's so much as she's reaching from the heart. The heart center. the place that one will close off in times of vulnerability, pain, fear, sadness, loneliness - you get the idea. When the heart center retreats, certain parts of you can start to feel that sting of btterness, resentful, regretful shit rising up. We've all been there to some extent. So, it might help to recognize that it's the ego battling your heart, wanting you to live in either the past or the future, but certainly not the present. The other day I read on facebook one of those people's shares for the day who love to share Buddhist quotes and photos of kittens sleeping with puppies:

If you are living in the past you are depressed, if you anxious you are worried about the future, if you happy you are present.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Dear Sheila: Erectile Dysfunction

Summer 2012

What to do when a relationship encounters Erectile Dysfunction? How can we be supportive of them while feeling like we are supported in our sexual needs in return? How can we (gals) feel optimistic that we'll have penetration-sex with them (ED boys) some day, or continue to have penetration-sex? Ir us this about giving up attachment to that?
--Edie Limpdick

First off, thank you for writing in and sharing your experiences with me, and the C.L.A.P. readership. As we say in school, if one person has a question we can be sure that other people do, too. There seems to be a few components to this dilemma-his experiences of ED, your experience of ED, and your shared sex life. Vis-a-vis his experience--has he been to the doctore?