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Teens create first-of-its-kind publication in Cincinnati despite corornavirus setbacks

'Tellus Zine' highlights issues relevant to young adults
Tellus Zine student publication
Posted at 5:00 AM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 10:35:33-04

CINCINNATI — Photography, painting, poetry and short narratives are just a few highlights readers will see in an all-new, first-of-its-kind online publication in Cincinnati created entirely by young adults.

The name of the publication, “Tellus Zine,” comes from the Latin word “tellus,” which means Earth, and "zine," which is a self-publication. Bethany Pelle, director of arts engagement and learning at the Kennedy Arts Center, said the word ‘tellus” can also be broken down to mean “invitation.”

She said she wants that invitation to extend to teens and young adults to express what really matters to them.

“The mission of the zine is to create a platform for young adults to share bravely and creatively,” Pelle said.

For student Luci Hittle, the coronavirus pandemic has made Tellus Zine’s platform for showcasing creativity more important than ever.

“I think art is absolutely essential especially right now,” she said.

Hittle is on the editorial board of the publication, and she’s also transitioning to her junior year at St. Ursula Academy in East Walnut Hills. She shares her board seat with 14 other young people across Greater Cincinnati.

“We basically came up with the prompt, came up with the name, figured out what the website was going to look like and what the zine was going to look like,” Hittle said.

Along with the board members, Tellus Zine will feature creative works from 22 young adults ages 12 to 21.

The editorial board sorted through applications to figure out what would make it past the cutting room floor.

“Where do you feel most at home, where do you feel most comfortable, what kind of defines you, so really questions about their identity and what makes them feel seen and a sense of belonging,” Pelle said.

There’s a launch party for Tellus Zine on Friday, May 29, but because of the pandemic, it will take place on Zoom instead of in person.

The publication is free and is accessible at Telluszine.org. There is also information on how teens can get involved in the next edition.

“I think Tellus is really for everybody, and I think it’s a really incredible thing that teenagers and young people get to actually create it,” Hittle said. “I think that’s really special.”