“Keep The Catalyst” Fundraiser to save UCSB’s Literary Arts Print Magazine


Ellise Huston

Features Editor

If you enter UC Santa Barbara’s (UCSB) South Hall 2635 at 5 p.m. on a Tuesday or Thursday, you’ll find students and editors writing poetry, discussing their artistic ideas, creating art of any medium, editing prose pieces, and producing layouts of art and literature. Welcome to the home of UCSB’s “The Catalyst Literary Arts Magazine.” 

“The Catalyst” is a student-led and designed literary magazine published once a quarter, every ten weeks. At the start of each quarter, students across UCSB submit poetry, prose, fiction, creative non-fiction, and more, as well as art from all mediums, to the magazine. From then on, the students in the class and the Editorial Board combine art and literature to create beautiful, creative, and eye-catching layouts that showcase the talents of the writers and artists. 

The Bottom Line (TBL) sat down with fourth-year student and “The Catalyst” Editorial Board member, Kiana Perez-Granados, to talk a little bit more about “The Catalyst” and what it represents. Perez-Granados has spent more than two years as a part of “The Catalyst.” What drew her to the magazine was that it was a place at UCSB where she could express herself completely artistically, both with writing and art. She told TBL, “It was the only place where I felt comfortable being creative and expressing myself in that medium and form.” 

“The Catalyst” fosters creativity and allows for the freedom of expression other places might not. The beauty lies in creating something greater than its parts, combining visuals with poetics. It immortalizes the work of student writers and fosters an environment for creativity. 

Perez-Granados first joined “The Catalyst” as a student searching for a community of students with a desire to learn more about art, writing, layout and graphic design, and the inner workings of publishing a magazine. That being said, the class is open to any student. Perez-Granados explained that “you don’t have to be experienced, or an English major, or an art major. It’s for everybody. It’s a good introduction to the art process and the design process … [and] a good route to take.”

Since Perez-Granados’s third year at UCSB, she has had a position on the Editorial Board, first as an assistant editor and now as editor-in-chief. Over the course of each quarter, she now oversees the creation of each and every layout, supervises and assists students in the course, and keeps constant contact with the rest of the Editorial team. 

The course is offered at UCSB as an upper-division English class, English 106 – Catalyst Writing. In this course, students have the opportunity to learn about the publishing industry and printing a literary arts magazine. Throughout the course, they are constantly writing new pieces and creating new works of art, then moving on to using Adobe InDesign and Photoshop to bring together the creativity onto a page. The Editorial Board is there to help teach how to use the applications, and students leave the class with the ability to say they worked as a part of a published magazine and the skills to create their own layouts.

The main goal of “The Catalyst” is to publish the creative works of students at UCSB every quarter, culminating in a quarterly launch event to reveal the printed magazine. 

Though this magazine is one of UCSB’s beloved literary arts magazines, there are always complications when creating a published work. “The Catalyst” is now fighting to keep its print version of the magazine available. Perez-Granados explained that for the upcoming quarters, funding for the magazine had fallen through, and there might be no way to get the magazine to print if new funding wasn’t found. 

Perez-Granados had expressed her worry about the possibility of no longer printing the magazine, noting that the “tangibility of creativity” is “one of the big things that draw people to the class. You get published, you see it in physical form, and the [quarterly launch event] is for the reveal of the magazine. That’s such a big part of who we are and what we do.”

But rest assured, Perez-Granados and the rest of the Editorial Board of “The Catalyst” won’t let this happen easily. 

“[We’re] show[ing] that we all collectively care about this and we are going to try our best to raise money for it,” said Perez-Granados. “We care enough to put in all this effort.”

On March 1 from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. at the Leta Santa Barbara Goleta, Tapestry Collection by Hilton Hotel, “The Catalyst” is hosting a fundraising event entitled “Keep The Catalyst” in order to maintain its position as a print magazine. The event will showcase a night of spoken word, live music, and a glimpse into some of the layouts the students and editors have loved creating. 

After pondering the best way to showcase both the passion that goes into the magazine and the endless love the students and editorial board have for the publication, Perez-Granados said that she figured the event needed to be fun by turning it into a spoken word event. “This way, it is more interactive and people can know what we represent in terms of creative writing.”

At the event, people will be able to feel this passion and love while listening to spoken word and eating some of the delicious food offered. The menu and more details about the event, location, and what will be offered can be found on their Instagram!

“I love The Catalyst and am very grateful to be a part of it,” Perez-Granados said when expressing why this fundraising event is so important to her. “We will never not have a digital publication … but the print is so vital and exciting.” 

If you are free on Friday, March 1, be sure to get to The Leta Hotel to witness the enthusiasm and dedication “The Catalyst” team has for their publication. Later in the quarter, the magazine will be free for those who attend its 31st Launch Event on March 14, and all past issues are always available digitally on its website. This will be another night of spoken word, live music, food, and fun!


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