Monday, February 15, 2010
What Happened to Blu?
Blu Magazine was, as a project, heart-breaking. People still tell me they loved Blu. Stauntonians, I think, need a magazine like Blu, and I think they miss it very much.
Our first issue looked quite good, the stories were fun and interesting, and putting out a magazine from scratch that had as many ads as we did and was as pretty as it was made me proud. The second issue was even better, and people who read it told me we were on the right track.
With our great, energetic, volunteer writers, photographers, graphic designers, and calendar compilers, we put together an awesome third issue that we were excited to send to print. Unfortunately, a series of problems between my partner and myself developed that ended up preventing us from running the third issue. I don't want cast aspersions on anyone or assign blame, but I feel like I did everything I could on my end to soldier on and continue serving our growing readership, advertising base, and those who were kind enough to help with content. As the months passed, I thought I could find the resources and publish the issue under a different masthead, but the material became dated, people moved on, and it became clear that I couldn't find funding with the recession, and I didn't want to string people along with false hope. With regret, I realized it was time to abandon the issue we all worked so hard on.
I'm still crestfallen by the way this project ended. I lost some money, but not so much that I can't recover. I may have lost some face, but I hope to earn it back. The worst part is that I lost an opportunity to do something that affected people's lives positively, and that's a very sad thing.
I apologize for how long it took me to write this explanation, but I didn't want to say anything about Blu until I knew the whole story myself.
I've heard my former partner has his own version of these events, but I feel my work in the year and a half I've lived in Staunton speaks for itself. Since Blu died, I managed the Curren For Delegate Campaign, starred in a German production of Hamlet; I also help manage the Darjeeling Café (which I'm happy to say is busier than ever), and I'm the Marketing Coordinator for the American Shakespeare Center (also busier than ever). And now there are new great and fulfilling projects I'm involved with. As I commit to new projects and see them through, I think it's clear to those I work with that I am the kind of person who fulfills my obligations, keeps my promises, and that I'm a hard worker who holds himself to a high standard. People I work with have actually told me that I'm "an ingredient in the recipe for success."
I'm very sorry to everyone who contributed to this project and feels like it might have been for naught; I know how you feel. Our advertisers got what they paid for, and some even didn't have to. Some checks were never cashed, but I'm sending those back. I'm particularly sorry to the subscribers; unfortunately, since I don't have access to records kept by my ex-partner, I have no way of knowing who you are. If you were a subscriber, please contact me, and I'll try to make it right, and thank you for believing in us. I hope that I can make a wonderful thing that you'll like in the future.