Pixel Tracker

Thursday, January 17 , 2019, 3:11 am | Overcast 60º


UC Santa Barbara Students Turn to Kickstarter as Catalyst to Save Literary Magazine

#SavetheCatalyst fundraising campaign launches this week as staff aims to turn page to a brighter future

Readers flip through recent copies of The Catalyst, a literary magazine run by UC Santa Barbara students. In an attempt to put the publication on firmer footing for the future, the staff is launching an online fundraising campaign, Click to view larger
Readers flip through recent copies of The Catalyst, a literary magazine run by UC Santa Barbara students. In an attempt to put the publication on firmer footing for the future, the staff is launching an online fundraising campaign, (Catalyst photo)

The arts aren’t dead, and a group of UC Santa Barbara students is working to prove that point with an online crowd-funding crusade for a beloved literary arts magazine.

A #SaveTheCatalyst Kickstarter campaign kicks off Tuesday in the name of preserving the university’s newly rediscovered Catalyst magazine.

Fourth-year English major Natalie O’Brien spearheaded the magazine’s revitalization last school year, serving as editor-in-chief of the publication that hadn’t been seen on campus since 2007.

The original version of the free magazine included submissions from English majors and spun out of a required class offered in the 1990s, but O’Brien opened the 80-page color periodical up to stories, poems, photos and illustrations submitted by any student.

Since then, student staffers have published four issues of The Catalyst, the fifth of which will be released Tuesday during a launch party at the Isla Vista Food Co-op, 6575 Seville Road.

O’Brien, who graduates next month, wants to leave the magazine in good shape.

After two failed attempts to secure a student lock-in fee, students decided to start the online fundraiser.

The first lock-in fee failed last spring after it didn’t receive enough votes in the Associated Students elections, while this year students weren’t able to gather enough signatures to get the initiative on the ballot.

“I feel like this Kickstarter will come to prove that people do back the arts,” said Josh Ortiz, a first-year UCSB student and Catalyst staffer. “That would keep us going for another year.”

The Catalyst and its core group of 25 students turn away hundreds of submissions each issue, Ortiz said.

“Since its conception, it’s really gotten a lot bigger than everyone expected it to be,” he said. “Now it’s starting to stand on its own. People have really just grown attached to it. The I.V. arts community is kind of like its own little niche. That’s what the magazine really offers.”

The magazine will offer #SaveTheCatalyst campaign donors free T-shirts, buttons, stickers, coffee mugs and fanny packs — items students will push at The Catalyst launch party from 4-9:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Isla Vista Food Co-op. Live music and refreshments also will be on hand.

To donate to The Catalyst Kickstarter, click here.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.