Hosting a Secret Cafe for INK Youth Zine Project

Welcome to our… Secret Café.

We at Bangor Media Collective are super excited to be kicking off a fundraising season for the INK Youth Zine Project! INK helps Maine youth to publish zines through direct grants, workshops, support and more! Click here to check out one of the zines that INK has helped publish.

This season we’ve decided to fundraise using an amazing idea brought to us by Echen Alexander, a Collective member from Olympia, Washington.

We’ll be hosting the first of Bangor Media Collective’s Secret Cafes in Bangor in July. The Secret Cafe is a kind of in-home restaurant experience: the host cooks some dishes, gets some friends to act as waitstaff & cooks, and invites their friends over for a meal. The guests pay–either a la carte or a flat price for a meal with all the extras (or some combination)– and the money goes to support the cause, in this case the INK Youth Zine Project. It can be really fun, with a themed menu, dress-up atmosphere & coat-checkers, or simple with a buffet and outdoor dining. It’s all up to the host!

So, here’s what we’re doing: We’re sending out an invitation for folks to host Secret Cafes in their homes during this summer! The style of meal, the way you do it is entirely up to you (though we’d be delighted to help you with ideas)! Do what you feel comfortable doing and what your friends will love. And you’ll be raising money for a great cause– helping us to encourage and amplify youth voices and artistic creativity through print media. If you’re interested in hosting a Secret Cafe in support of INK Youth Zine Project, email INK-YZP at We’ll be psyched to talk about it with you and tell you what you need to know.

I’ve created an online document, a “How-To” for Secret Cafe’ers to use as a starting point!! Check it out!
Hosting a Secret Cafe for INK Youth Zine Project

Here are some links describing how other groups have used Secret Cafes to raise money for causes.

INK Youth Zine Project logo




INK Youth Zine Project has previously given support to help publish SHOOT: (a youth-edited photography journal), Sprout (a youth-edited literary journal), and the Trans Kid Zine, a zine for and by transgender children, facilitated by the Trans Youth Equality Foundation. INK also publishes the Youth Activism Gathering Collective Zine and facilitates the zine workshop, in addition to offering zine workshops and other support to groups and individuals. This year, INK hopes to make the INK Project bigger and better than ever!