Call for Artists: FREE Dearborn Comics Workshop (Ages 16+)

Application deadline: Monday, Dec. 17 2018

Applicants of Middle Eastern and North African descent ages 16+ living in the Dearborn/Detroit area are invited to participate in a FREE 8-week comics workshop from Jan. 11 to Mar. 3, 2019! No experience necessary; all levels welcome to apply.

Workshop sessions will be held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., followed by optional open studio time from 1 to 5 p.m., at the Dearborn City Hall Artspace Lofts

The workshop will be led by Palestinian graphic novelist Leila Abdelrazaq and Lebanese artist and designer Aya Krisht, as part of Abdelrazaq’s residency with the Arab American National Museum's Artists + Residents program.

Participants will create personal, autobiographical comics and self-publish them. They will then have the chance to sell copies of their comics at AANM's second annual Book & Print Fest in spring of 2019.

Selected participants will:

- Receive a $100 printing stipend to produce their work
- Have the chance to share and sell their work at AANM’s second annual Book & Print Festival in the spring
- Have access to Leila’s studio space during open studio hours, as well as to Leila and Aya’s comic and zine library, which will be housed in the studio
- Give and receive feedback about their projects in an affirming learning environment
- Experience the process of creating their own comic zine, from conception to completion and publication


Send the following materials via e-mail to by Monday, Dec. 17, 2018:

- A short bio introducing yourself (no more than 150 words) and statement (no more than 300 words) explaining why you would like to participate in the workshop and your creative goals.
- Up to five samples of your illustrated artwork (these don’t have to be comics, they can be drawings of any kind, as long as they’re your own).
- Optional: You may choose to include a CV of related experiences or achievements if you have one, but it is not required.   Applicants will be notified of the decision by December 27.

No prior experience is necessary! Inclusion of ethnic and religious minorities of the Middle East and North Africa, recent immigrants, and those without formal art training, who display talent and a commitment to their work in their applications, will be prioritized. All women and non-binary people age 16 and older, of Middle Eastern and North African descent, are welcome to apply.

Teaching artists

Leila Abdelrazaq is a Detroit-based Palestinian author and artist. Her debut graphic novel, Baddawi (Just World Books 2015) was shortlisted for the 2015 Palestine Book Awards and has been translated into three languages. She is also the author and Illustrator of The Opening (Tosh Fesh, 2017) as well as a number of zines and short comics. Her creative work primarily explores issues related to diaspora, refugees, history, memory, and borders. Leila has been involved in organizing in various capacities since 2011, and integrates art making into her organizing work. She is also the founder of the small press and comics distributor Bigmouth Press & Comix. In the past, she has taught a number of multi-week classes in comics and illustration at Spudnik Press in Chicago.  

Aya Krisht is a Lebanese designer and printmaker currently based in Dearborn, MI. She graduated from the American University of Beirut with a BFA in Graphic Design, where her senior thesis focused on the relationship between design and comics. She has been a speaker on multiple panels and presentations about comics. She is the Media Designer at the Arab American National Museum where she manages all the print and digital visual applications of the Museum. She is also a member of the Jamaa Al-Yad artist collective which engages in the global fight for equality and justice through art and printmaking. Her linocut print “Love & Death” series was selected as one of the Best Hundred Arabic Posters for 2018, exhibited in Abu Dhabi and Cairo.

13624 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, MI 48126 - Phone (313) 582-AANM (2266) A Project of ACCESS