IT’S FUNNY, the way things seem to seek you out, the way they find you at the right time.
When our photographer, Arshia Khan, came back from shooting Stacie Bloomfield’s bedroom for this month’s “My Space,” she noticed something familiar in one of the images: On one of Stacie’s bookshelves, there was a small framed print that read “This is worth fighting for.” Now, while there’s an added layer of serendipity to this find—Arshia had bought the same print from Perrodin Supply Co. five years before—I feel it’s worth mentioning here for this reason: For much of the past month, those same words were heard quite often around these parts, an oft-repeated rallying call, an office mantra of sorts.
If you’re curious why that is … well, it’s a long story (and I’d encourage you to read the post on our website that describes it at length), but the gist is that since mid-December, we had been uncertain about the future of this magazine—we weren’t sure if this issue, the very one that you hold in your hands (or that you’re reading online or on your tablet) would be the very last of its kind.
But here’s the thing: It won’t be.
When it came down to it, when Arkansas Life was on the brink, we saw such an impressive response from the community (see the sidebar for just a few examples) that our management decided to keep this magazine going. In the months to come, you’ll see some changes—we’ll still be publishing 12 times a year, but eight of those issues will be in a digital format, the others an oversized print quarterly—but again, as the details get a little long, I’d encourage you to visit our website for the rest of the story.
In the space I’ve got left here, I’d like to stress one last thing:
The work that we do here at the magazine, I honestly believe, presents an opportunity for this staff unlike any other. Yes, we do good work, and yes, we often get recognized for it in the form of plaques and various accolades—but the truth of the matter is, that’s not why we do this. The reason all of us are here at the magazine is because we think it’s important. We think that, in this day and age, there’s never been a more important time for local journalism. We do it because we love this state, and we love the people who live here. Ultimately, no matter what shape the work assumes, we’ll still be here. We’ll still be committed to telling your stories. After all, this place is home, and there’s no place we’d rather be.
In our two-week campaign to save the magazine, we saw no shortage of support from the community—however, there were a few folks in particular we’d like to mention.
Matt White of Little Rock’s White Water Tavern put on a benefit concert featuring performances by Phillip Rex Huddleston, Joshua Asante and the Hot Springs band Ghost Bones. (The proceeds from that show bought 40-odd subscriptions for public libraries around the state.)
Joy Ellis of Leslie’s Skylark Cafe wrote a widely shared 900-word Facebook post in which she offered to buy lunch for anyone who showed up with proof of their subscription.
Several friends reached out offering very generous donations, (notably, University of Arkansas Press and Mangan Holcomb Partners / Team SI).
And finally, we’d like to thank both our contributors and our subscribers—past, present and future—who turned out when we needed them most. From the bottom of our hearts: Thank you.