Placeholder Magazine is a fiercely independent critical voice covering contemporary arts, culture, and literature. We are a Central Valley-based not-for-profit arts organization led entirely by volunteers. Through print and digital mediums, we provide an accessible forum for diverse voices as well as energize and activate young leaders through artistic practice, collaborative and collective decision making, and community-based projects locally and beyond.

Placeholder’s roots run deep in the Central Valley, inspired by art shows tacked to walls and hung on wire, bands playing in corners of abandoned strip malls and defunct industrial spaces, or house shows in someone’s backyard. We began in the summer of 2013 with a handful of friends who were in the midst of a city-wide creative response to Stockton’s unique and painful challenges as a city, recognizing the immense diversity, talent and resilience in the arts community.

Our range of contributors spans multiple generations and cultures, varying forms of craft, experience, differing identities, lifestyles and perspectives. Through navigating a combination of hometown love (holding down our place and acknowledging what it is, has been, and what could be) and the yearning for new and unfamiliar experiences and ideas, our collective embodies a dual definition for the word: placeholder.

What We Do

Much like our members, Placeholder’s work is radically multifaceted and multidisciplinary. To put it simply: We create to share and learn. We are most known for our expansive print and online magazine, but we also focus a lot of time and energy into projects within the communities where we are based. Placeholder organizes and collaborates on workshops, festivals, speakers, art & music shows, benefits, advocacy campaigns, and skillshares.

Placeholder has successfully produced print runs of two full-length magazine issues, involving over 30 local artists in their creation spanning varying ages, cultures, and identities, as well as being a creative force having directly and indirectly produced 75+ events. Members of the group have gone on from Placeholder work to professional opportunities as a result of skills building within the organization, gaining positions to the likes of the Lodi News Sentinel, AJ+, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Sutter Health, as well as non-profit groups such as local, water-focused Restore the Delta, Tuleburg Press and the international Beehive Design Collective.

As an all-volunteer organization, our group consists of 10-20 active members moving our work forward. We also have a strong decentralized network of members and supporters that are essential to what we do, contributing at their capacity, and a Board of Directors which governs our operations.

What people are saying

“Voices from the hidden enclave of grassroots arts in Stockton are emerging together in noncommercial, nonprofit publication filled with colorful works, dramatic prose and deep thoughts to reflect the troubled city’s diverse creativity.” The Record. Feb 2014. Christine Teldeschi.

“Momentum is one of the most trailblazing projects to come to downtown Stockton in years.” The Record. Apr. 2016. Joy Neas.