Two of the eternal challenges in scholarship are identifying and then locating relevant information sources. Despite many modern technological wonders, there are still nuggets of essential information that remain buried, having neither been referenced by earlier writers nor sufficiently collected and described in electronic or even print formats. The field of jazz research has undergone an evolution from a recreational activity to one with academic standing but it must be remembered that then, as now, amateurs have been responsible for creating a number of valuable homegrown publications. All too often, these have been ignored by libraries and by both contemporary and retrospective indexing projects.
Change magazine was one of several projects of Detroit-based activist John Sinclair.  It was intended to be a quarterly journal but only two issues were published by the Detroit Artists’ Workshop cooperative. The second issue (initially planned for March 1966) was delayed due to Sinclair’s imprisonment (February–August 1966) for drug possession. Sinclair’s wife Magdalene (aka Leni) assisted with the production of the magazine. As she recalled recently, “John went to jail and like it or not, I had to write when I was called upon and nobody else was available to write. I hate writing—it’s not my shtick—but sometimes I had to do it. I was the circulation manager. Well, I had to do a little bit of everything.” In fact, while the first issue’s editors were listed as John Sinclair and Charles Moore, the second issue added the name of Leni Sinclair. 
The statement of purpose that begins the first issue reads:
CHANGE will be for interested & sympathetic people, those who listen to the new music, & find it of essential use to themselves. As such, CHANGE should be a forum for these listeners, especially musicians, to make their responses to the music public, or at least as public as its reading audience is. CHANGE therefore invites young & informed musicians & listeners to contribute essays, statements, reviews, or any other forms of response to the music. 
The contents include poems, essays, current events updates, and reviews of concerts and recordings. Notable are the contributions of professional musicians such as Archie Shepp, Andrew Hill, Charles Moore, Stanley Cowell, Marion Brown, and Joseph Jarman. Contributors came from around the United States and abroad and some, including Tam Fiofori, John Litweiler, Stuart Broomer, Ron Welburn, and Jerry Figi, would have long careers as jazz writers. 
It is hoped that the documenting of this publication’s contents will help alert researchers to its potential usefulness as a source.
I don’t really know the sequence, but I think the first magazine that we came out with was called Work. Work included literary works and poetry and jazz reviews and stuff like that. But then the next issue of Work was about a hundred pages or something and it’s hard to staple and mimeograph sheets like a hundred sheets deep and we had to make two magazines out of one. So then the music part of Work then became reborn as Change magazine and it was solely devoted to music and Work thereafter was mostly devoted to literary things. 
The Artists’ Workshop Press was part of the Artists’ Workshop. The Detroit Artists’ Workshop was born November 1, 1964, with a group of about five or seven people, I don’t know. But out of that came a manifesto that explained how we wanted to have own place to play our own music, and so on, to start a cooperative.  And we started having meetings and people joined. Then we got a building and we started having regular performances or regular get-togethers every Sunday afternoon and each Sunday bands would play, there would be poetry, there would be exhibitions on the wall. And that expanded to include classes. We started a thing called the Free University of Detroit. Everybody involved in the Workshop was teaching something: poetry or film-making or community organizing, all kinds of different subject matter, jazz improvisation.... And also we started an organization on the Wayne State campus called The Friends of the Detroit Artists’ Workshop so we could have access to the buildings at the university and that’s when we started presenting national acts, which at that time were not so national, like Joseph Jarman’s band before it became the Art Ensemble [of Chicago]. We had Andrew Hill. We had Cecil Taylor. We had Marion Brown several times. Also poets like Allen Ginsberg and people like that. That lasted for about—the golden age of the Artists’ Workshop was between 1964 and 1966. It kind of ended—not ended but fizzled out—after John went to jail in 1966. We soldiered on and brought out another issue of Work in 1967, Work/5, and I’m happy to tell you that Work/6 just came out, about forty-five years later. It’s kind of a literary event! Maybe someday there will be another issue of Change, who knows. 
I think it was people volunteering to write about whoever they loved. See, sometimes we were better known outside of Detroit than we were in Detroit. Because Detroit is the Midwest, the backwoods. It takes awhile for people in Detroit to catch on to what happens on the west coast or the east coast or in Chicago. But we were all over the place. We went to Chicago several times and participated in the Art Ensemble performances there. We went to New York, to Newark, to Buffalo—we got around.
It was mostly me. It started out when we had access to the Monteith College student center. There was a college at Wayne State University that was very liberal and very open-minded and encouraged students to express their opinions and distribute them and they gave them a free building and a mimeograph machine and ink and all the paper they could use. So they started a paper called the Monteith Journal. And it ended up that in the last couple issues of the Monteith Journal, almost all the people who wrote for it, who had poetry in it, later on appeared in Work magazine. The incubation happened at Monteith College student center. So we utilized the mimeograph machine and published our first magazines and books by running them off late at night, ream by ream, cranking—no, it was electric, it wasn’t hand-cranked. Then after a while we bought our own mimeograph machine and learned how to do it well, and we learned where we could get stencils from, how we could put photographs in it. Then we also got a stencil burning machine so we could do those. And then we refined the art of mimeographing and sometimes we made flyers in two and three colors. That means you have to change the ink on the machine after the first run and then the second run is with a different color ink. But the covers—we usually managed to get enough money together to get the covers printed by offset by some printer. Then eventually—the Artists’ Workshop Press published these magazines, but then we also got into printing booklets and books of poetry. There were about twenty issues before it fizzled out.
The way it worked, all the members of the Artists’ Workshop would pay dues every month. And the way the dues were figured out was that we added up all the expenses during the month, like what it would cost for electricity and rent and printing flyers and then we divided that number by the number of members. Say, if there were $300 in expenses and there were thirty people, then you would have to pay ten dollars. It was totally cooperative.
Mostly subscribers through the mail and then we sold them, I think for a dollar each, at the performances. 
I can tell you the reason no more issues [of Change] came out was because my husband went to jail and then we had no more money. And then after he got out, everything was different. We probably were planning to do some more issues, but then the psychedelic revolution kind of overwhelmed us and the attentions changed, from jazz to more like rock and roll. 
Below is an article-by-article listing of the full contents of the entire two-issue run of the magazine.
 The Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan holds the John and Leni Sinclair Papers, which contain much documentation of the period discussed in this article, as well as all of the publications referenced here.
 Leni Sinclair has had a long career as a photographer. Her website www.lenisinclair.com includes photographs as well as a digitized version of the 1984 book Detroit Jazz: Who’s Who co-authored with Herb Boyd. More of her photographs and a video interview can be seen at the website Backstage Gallery.
 John Sinclair, “Editorial: Change/1.” Change 1 (Fall/Winter 1965), iii.
 Litweiler, John. “In Memory of J. B. Figi, 1937–1999.” Jazz Institute of Chicago, 2003. http://jazzinchicago.org/educates/journal/articles/memory-jb-figi-1937-1999
 Leni Sinclair. Telephone interview, December 30, 2009.
 Regarding planned articles for Change/3 and Change/4 announced in the second issue, Leni Sinclair reports, “I think he [John Sinclair] might have done the interviews. If they were transcribed, I don’t know.”
 The slogan WHE’RE we WORK for CHANGE appears on some correspondence and Sinclair explains, “That’s cool. Now Whe’re is another magazine that we made. Because Work magazine also contained criticism and all that and then it got so overwhelming. John was corresponding with about two hundred poets around the country and around the world and it got to be too big to put all that in one magazine so he came up with the idea—he and some other people, probably—came up with the idea to start another magazine that was called Whe’re. And that was supposed to be including correspondence between poets and criticism and philosophical exchanges between writers and so on.”
 The second issue notes that a total of only 1000 copies of each issue were printed.
 [After mentioning the recently deceased James Gurley, guitarist for Big Brother and the Holding Company] It was Detroiters who founded the San Francisco [rock] scene, one of them being [Stanley] Mouse, the poster artist for the Grateful Dead. He’s from Detroit. People migrated to the west coast and some of them got famous there. The main thrust of the Artists’ Workshop was instead of going to the coast, let’s stay here and try to duplicate what they are doing on the east coast or the west coast. We even organized a love-in on Belle Isle. We were just trying to be like one of them so we wouldn’t have to travel to have a good time.
 An insert with unrelated pagination appearing between pages 20 and 21.
Michael Fitzgerald, founding editor of Current Research in Jazz, is assistant professor in the Learning Resources Division of the University of the District of Columbia, home of the Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives. He is author, with Noal Cohen, of the book, Rat Race Blues: The Musical Life of Gigi Gryce (Berkeley Hills Books, 2002), which received the 2003 Award for Excellence for best research in recorded jazz music from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) and is coordinator, with Steve Albin, of the website www.jazzdiscography.com.
A bibliography of Change magazine, a short-lived jazz publication from Detroit, MI, which existed from 1965 to 1966 and was edited by John Sinclair, Charles Moore, and Leni Sinclair. Excerpts from an interview with Leni Sinclair provide details on the history of the magazine.
Change, jazz, magazine, bibliography, John Sinclair, Leni Sinclair, Detroit Artists’ Workshop
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This page last updated December 31, 2009, 17:58