Two freshmen are piecing together their first issue of a magazine covering topics like music and sustainability.
Co-editors in chief Gabriella Bann and Kariann Tan launched Currant Magazine, a student-run publication composed of 12 editors and a staff of graphic designers, late last semester and plans to publish their first issue by the end of the semester. Bann and Tan said they want to provide a space for students to discuss topics like food and drink and D.C. events through a platform entirely composed of feature stories.
“I wanted something that had more vibrancy and more color and so I thought, ‘Let’s start a publication that is very lifestyle and pop culture-oriented to fill that gap here at GW,’” Tan said.
The editors said that after the first edition is published this spring, the group hopes to release another issue this summer with advice for freshmen on how to acclimate to the University and spend wisely on GWorld.
“We want that to be physical so they can have that sort of memorabilia of their first week at GW,” Tan said. “I think it would just be a really cool thing to do.”
The magazine will work on one edition every semester between 50 and 60 pages, and the print editions will include submissions from writers and non-writers, they said.
The website includes five sections – music, style, advocacy, food and drink, and events – which Tan said is updated with new posts every few days. The website currently features a review of GCDC, a rundown of the best-dressed actors at the Oscars and a blog-style post about the concept of home from the perspective of a child of divorce.
Tan said she was motivated to start the publication after she created an online magazine with her friends in high school called Poptized.
“It influenced my decision in starting Currant, and it influenced my love in everything pop-culture related,” Tan said. “I just think it’s so interesting to see how people react to and talk about this stuff, and I want to provide that gateway to get to know what’s happening behind the scene.”
She added that members want to print stories related to college students and D.C. culture. Tan said she and Bann look for interested writers and photographers who are “very outgoing and creative.”
“The kind of students that should apply to Currant should definitely be someone who doesn’t stick to the status quo,” Tan said. “When writing articles we kind of hope, not expect, but hope that the writers have a very different perspective on things because we want to publish articles that people are going to be like ‘Woah, I’ve never seen that before, what are their thoughts on it?’”
Bann said that when she first arrived on campus, she was largely unaware of D.C.’s culture scene outside of politics and wants to use the publication to encourage students to explore the city.
“Our mission is to be a creative outlet for people to express themselves and to be able to cater to the student audience,” said Bann. “Just to be the creative outlet that GW is missing,” Bann said.
Bann said the magazine should focus on publishing content related to both GW and the entire D.C. area, like restaurants and activities students should check out around the District.
“GW is very political, but we also have a beautiful art scene and we want to shine more light on that,” she said.
But Bann said the politics-focused environment of GW’s campus will not be lost on Currant. The advocacy section of the magazine will focus on the political happenings and activism on campus, specifically protests that students have held or attended around D.C., she said.
Bann added that the magazine recruited students at the beginning of the spring semester, and members are considering reopening the applications to apply again at the end of the semester.
“Anyone is welcome and currently staff consists of editors, writers and graphic designers,” she said. “Currently we have closed our application, but we are thinking of reopening. Commitment level is what you make of it, but it’s largely based on what the editors want.”