Five years ago, when I started Cultural Weekly, it was an experiment in the public discussion of our cultural environment. Remarkably soon, the “I” became “we,” and since then we have published more than 2,600 articles written by more than 250 contributors, and the work of more than 200 poets.
Now, we are at a critical juncture. For these years I have been financially supporting Cultural Weekly entirely myself. We have grown to the point where I cannot do that anymore, so we’re asking for the community’s financial support to keep going. We need to raise $15,000 by January 31, 2017.
A few weeks ago, I emailed 20 of the most constant contributors, as well as Chiwan Choi, our editor (who also runs Writ Large Press), Alexis Rhone Fancher, our poetry editor, and Jack Grapes, who has been one of our most stalwart supporters. I asked for their counsel and suggestions. Many of them recommended that we find a way to receive tax-deductible contributions.
We immediately reached out to Fractured Atlas, a non-profit national arts service organization. We’re pleased to announce that Cultural Weekly has become a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Cultural Weekly are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
What are we all about?
At Cultural Weekly, we incite, inform and inspire. This is a place to talk about our creative culture with passion, perspective and analysis – and more words than “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.” We draw attention to our cultural environment, illuminate it, and make it better through rich conversations. We look at culture through the different lenses of media, money, technology and entertainment, always with prime focus on creativity in action.
Cultural Weekly is a free platform for independent voices. Our writers retain copyright on their work, upload the content themselves, and use Cultural Weekly’s digital frame to elevate the conversation and to amplify their diverse messages. We exercise minimal editorial control; we support creative people who have an aesthetic viewpoint and express it with clarity and passion.
As cultural provocateurs, we believe in the primacy of creative expression and support artists’ freedoms, rights, and the value of their work. We are particularly wary of any efforts to hamper creative expression, especially when that expression is against the mainstream. Artists walk the edge; artists are disruptive; moreover, artists are prophets. From the cubist painters finding a new way to look at reality, which pre-dated and predicted quantum mechanics, to the past decade’s global filmmakers, whose works paved the way for social change, creative people foretell where we are going. Watch the artists: they see the future.
Our Next Steps
We now face a challenge. Can the community come together to support Cultural Weekly and the dream it represents: publishing hundreds of diverse, independent voices who reflect, and reflect upon, the creative culture in which we live?
Our current fund-raising appeal, through the sponsorship of Fractured Atlas, is our beta-test, our proof-of-concept. The concept we seek to prove is that we serve a purpose, and the community we serve supports us.
Who Can We Become?
If we succeed in raising sufficient funds, our larger dream is to become our own non-profit organization. At that point we will have a purpose that is even larger. Cultural Weekly, the digital magazine, will become the voice of our Foundation; our governing Foundation will have this purpose: To nurture and empower creative people and their work in order to foster a culture that is vibrant, resilient, sustaining, inclusive, diverse, self-aware, and advances toward social justice. To support creative work that reflects society, so we may see ourselves more clearly, and work that shapes our culture moving forward.
At its core, creativity is an approach to life and work that is characterized by curiosity, questioning, a desire to play, make, and share, enhanced by a willingness to innovate and fail, which children possess in their early years, but which is often lost in the cultures of schools, workplaces, and daily life.
To begin walking toward this dream, we ask you to support Cultural Weekly right now. We appreciate your financial support, at every level, and we value the creative and emotional support you have given us over these years.
Donate to Cultural Weekly here. (How about committing to $10 a month?)
If you prefer to donate by check, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you mailing information. Contributions by check for the charitable purposes of Cultural Weekly must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Featured image: Mural in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, by Icy and Sot. (Courtesy Icy and Sot.)