We had the good fortune of connecting with Christina Long and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christina, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Bringing my entire self to my business projects is the key for me. I am absolutely a polymath or what some call a multi-hyphenate creative, with a lot of interests that adults often criticized me for in my youth. Everyone kept telling me I wouldn’t get anywhere without specializing in a specific skillset, but digital media and brand strategy have allowed creatives like me to learn and flourish in as many spaces and industries as we wish to in a simultaneous manner.
I launched #blkgrlswurld ZINE in 2014 to publish books that center womxn of color in the heavy metal scene, while my other business edCircle.org provides eLearning services to corporations and universities across the country. And third, I launched The Leadership Institute for Womxn of Color, a digital learning platform that provides womxn with professional development content.
When I combine the conversations and insights we are having in each of my businesses with my other activities as an artist and educator, we are able to solve business problems in news ways.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
#Blkgrlswurld ZINE is an award-winning indie publishing house based in New York City. Our press celebrates and documents Black Womxn & Womxn of Color who participate in heavy music genres like Metalcore, Hardcore, Punk and Black Metal. Interviewing bands, reviewing music and vending at zine fairs allow us to introduce readers to new music and the diversity within music scenes.
Zines and artists’ books published by #Blkgrlswurld Press can be found in libraries at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art PS1, The Whitney Museum, The Schomburg Center for Research On Black Culture, The Barnard Zine Library, Wasted Ink Zine Distro and many more.
In 2019 I was awarded a grant from the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation for my work in indie publishing. The grant led to us launching our very first Punk Music Fest and Zine Fair at Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art in September of 2019.
In 2020 we launched our first streetwear line, celebrating the punk and metal fashions that women have come to enjoy while attending live shows and crazy rock concerts.
The press accepts open submissions from anyone who supports womxn identifying fans & musicians in the heavy music scene. #heavygirlsloveheavymusic
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Here in NYC we’d have to get you to a metal show. Of course the pandemic shut down most venues, but as the summer blooms, live outdoor concerts are starting to come back. Some music events happen in the local NYC parks while others pop up unofficially on random Brooklyn streets. We’d go to a show and cool down afterwards at an outdoor coffee shop before trekking back across Manhattan on the subway.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to shoutout my younger sister Courtney Long, who has joined me in building up #blkgrlswurld ZINE over the years. Since our college days we have often lived on different sides of the United States, and do most of our business collaboration remotely. As the business has grown and received more global recognition, Courtney has taken on more tasks and responsibilities that I really appreciate.