Chris McLeod, 30, works on a zine, or small magazine, at Third House Coffee and Books during the “Create in Place” event.


Chris McLeod had no goal in mind or experience with creating small magazines, but he took the orange and yellow construction paper and set out to create a masterpiece.

The 30-year-old was one of about ten people who attended Downtown Gainesville’s Third House Books & Coffee’s “Create in Place,” where attendees participated in a series of artistic activities. 352 Creates, a community-organization that promotes local creativity, sponsored the event that occurred from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and included a Borrowed Mic Night.

“I like the do-it-yourself aspect of it,” McLeod said. “It’s pretty fun.”

Kiren Valjee, the 37-year-old owner of Third House, said he and the rest of his staff developed the ideas for the activities that were offered throughout the day. The purpose of the event was to promote creativity, health and community engagement.

“I like the community aspect,” Valjee said. “People come in and get to do something creative, meet other people and enjoy their community.”

Friday’s event was the second time Third House has hosted a “Create in Place,” Valjee said.

One of the event’s activities was a flash-fiction writing station where participants randomly selected a genre, setting and an object and then wrote a story based on their selections in five minutes.

A zine-making station allowed attendees to create a small magazine on a topic of their choice, which they either took home or donated to Third House’s collection.

Valjee said the Borrowed Mic Night portion of the event was meant to encourage participants to share passages of poetry and literature that resonated with them. Participants were able to bring passages from home or choose from the bookstore’s collection.

“I want people to have a chance to get in touch with the community,” Valjee said. “I think we have a really special and creative community in Gainesville.”