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There’s much to be said about the life of a twentysomething these days. Just ask Girls creator Lena Dunham or author Sheila Heti. Or, evidently, Kate Jenkins, the 26-year-old Columbia Heights resident behind D.C.’s new quarterly magazine, The Intentional.
After returning to the U.S. from Spain, where she earned her Master’s degree in microfinance, Jenkins found herself living in the city and unemployed. With microfinance experts not exactly in high demand, she started waiting tables—-and pondering her generation’s role in the world. In April 2012, Jenkins came up with the idea for a magazine, and jumped right into the project. “I felt like no one would give me the chance to do what I wanted to do and to demonstrate what I was capable of, so I just kind of made it happen,” Jenkins says.
The magazine is meant to function as “a platform where we can talk about the twentysomething experience and the frustrations that go along with it,” as well as the opportunities, says Jenkins. The magazine responds in part to media reports that made young college graduates seem like lost causes. The Intentional aims to show that millennials are capable of more than tweeting and Instagramming—-and that they, too, believe in print media.
Working with two other editors, an art director, and a designer, Jenkins has created a product that’s influenced by GOOD magazine, but she says The Intentional is a little grittier and slightly less “wide-eyed.” Inside, you’ll find personal essays about the link between food and memory, ruminations on snobbery, and lots of art, including a photo essay of works by Baltimore-based street artist Gaia. There’s even a smidgen of Washington policy talk inside essays about international development and technology. For a new venture, the magazine has already developed a small following, earned partly through its months-long online buildup and a pair of recent events, including last week’s launch party at Mad Momos, with Philippa Hughes‘ art-party organization Pink Line Project.
Some sections stand out more than others (is another rumination on female friendship in Brooklyn really necessary?), but The Intentional contains a couple of thought-provoking pieces, notably Dave Walker‘s essay on a small-town general store in the hills of North Carolina. As for future plans, Jenkins is already hard at work on issue No. 2, which will debut sometime this summer.
Curious readers can subscribe or buy individual issues online at theintentional.com.