On Saturday, October 15th APCH’s Bridge Campus was abuzz with excitement as community members entered the theater space for the first Comic Art & Literacy Expo (CALE) back in person since 2019. “It was like returning to a family reunion!” exclaimed Bernyce Talley, Associate Director of Arts & Creative Expressions and creator of CALE.
The theater was lined with exhibitor tables, all filled with colorful posters, comics, zines, stickers, plushies, and more, created by the wonderful artists and writers showcased at the event. APCH member Angel kicked things off with a live performance of the Spiderman theme song on flute, and then guests had the chance to wander the room, check out the art and independent publications at the exhibitors’ booths, and peruse APCH’s collection of free, family-friendly comics and books to take home.
Event attendees also had the opportunity to participate in a series of fun workshops throughout the day. They got an inside look at the making of Disney’s The Owl House from Retakes Director Vesela Stamenova and Art Director Andy Garner-Flexnor, met master prop maker at Lucasfilm/Disney Mike Senna and his droid R4-DT (aka Grafitti Droid from Disney+’s Obi Wan Kenobi), and learned how to make zines with Suemi Guerra, creator of Suicidal Goldfish! The event also featured lots of raffles, goody bag giveaways, and three young people won brand new bikes! “It was a lot of fun bringing the event back in person after hosting two virtual events,” shared Talley. “It felt like a true celebration.”
Hosted by the Visual Art Department, the Comic Art & Literacy Expo is one of APCH’s many free community events throughout the year, and was created to share the joys of art and literature with the organization’s members and the surrounding community. “Many of our young people were expressing how much they disliked reading, so introducing comics and graphic novels was a way to make reading more fun for them,” said Talley. “And, there aren’t any book or comic stores in South Central, so I wanted to bring in as many resources as possible to our community.”
Whether virtual or in person, CALE continues to be a highly anticipated event and an important way that APCH connects with, and uplifts its community. “Literacy in all forms – not just reading, but financial, digital, civic, health, too – is transformative,” said Talley. “Knowledge is empowering, it changes lives, and that’s what I want people to take away from CALE.”
To learn more about all of the programming and services we provide here at APCH, visit https://apch.org/what-we-do/