A letter from the editor
By Danny Mayer
North of Center began publication in May, 2009, with a paltry print run of 800 copies, no Facebook page, and no online presence. Since that time, we have kept up a biweekly print schedule—we surpassed issue #50 earlier this summer—and entered the 21st century with a local web site, a Facebook page, and a nationally-focused blog. With the addition of several donated outdoor and indoor distribution racks (thanks La Voz and Smiley Pete), our print run now numbers 2400 copies of each issue. Were it not for Mayor Jim Gray’s sting operation of Lexington graffiti artists, which had the byproduct effect of running out of town an artist in the midst of painting 6 of these donated magazine racks, the distribution number might be closer to 3000 copies per issue circulating around town.
For the most part, our growth into the community has been accomplished through the work of a small group of committed volunteers who have labored to research, write, edit, draw, lay out, distribute and talk-up the paper and the many stories contained within it. Their work has allowed this paper to become what it is today.
Over the next several months, we will be posting a series of “help needed” ads throughout the paper to address key needs necessary for the paper to sustain itself. Our writers could use breaks to avoid burnout. Our geographic distribution could be expanded. Our online presence could be better coordinated. And the kicker, as of September 1 the paper is off the Mayer dole and must figure out a way to fund itself. (The money used to fund my paper baby, North of Center, now goes to help support my real baby, Josie.)
When North of Center started, I envisioned a paper beholden to our immediate communities. It will continue or not, I thought at the time, based upon the support we get from those communities. If people want it enough, it will continue. If they don’t, it won’t. Well over two years into publication, my view of NoC’s continuation hasn’t really changed. If the paper continues, it will not be because of me and my support. It will be because of you and yours. So far things have worked out.