SO Vermont Arts and Living Celebrates 10th Anniversary

SO Vermont Arts and Living Celebrates 10th AnniversarySO Vermont Arts & Living magazine announced today that it will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a special 10th Anniversary issue due out in January, 2018, featuring a gatefold of past covers that showcases the works of prominent artists in the region, which has become the magazine's trademark.

"We'll take a look back at how the magazine started, and why, and where we are today," said owner and publisher Lynn Barrett. We're also announcing the SO Vermont Arts & Living Cultural Hero Award that will be give annually to the person or organization that has done the most to advance the arts and culture of Southern Vermont. Of course we'll recognize our community partners, writers, designers, and everyone involved with the magazine. It's hard to believe that 10 years have gone by. We've grown in terms of enhanced events, exhibitions, readership, content and social media. But, the start-up was a leap of faith."

Before moving to Vermont, Barrett specialized in marketing and public relations for CBS, other Fortune 500 companies and her own firm, Primetime Concepts in Manhattan. "Starting a publishing company was not on my list when I came here," she says.

Barrett's first foray into the magazine business came in 2005 with the Andy Warhol exhibition at the Brattleboro Museum when the Brattleboro Reformer invited her to sell ads and help produce Andy Warhol, The Jon Gould Collection. "I'd never sold an ad in my life, but I was game."

She subsequently worked with the daily newspaper to produce and market other publications centered around the arts and the local economy, including "Southern Vermont Arts," a glossy magazine that became the inspiration for her own publishing undertaking.

"The idea to publish a magazine to promote the arts and lifestyle of not just Brattleboro, but all of Southern Vermont, seemed like the next logical move," Barrett says. "Who else was going to promote Southern Vermont? The state's tourism marketing was focused north of Rte 4."

She began publishing SO Vermont Arts & Living independently in 2008, bringing the same premise and mission to the new magazine, which she describes as "a postcard to the world about Southern Vermont."

The magazine focuses on the arts, culture, and lifestyle that chronicles the rural yet sophisticated world of Southern Vermont. It's distributed in two Welcome Centers and throughout Southern Vermont and the neighboring towns along the borders of New York, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Target readers are residents and tourists who are drawn to cultural and lifestyle coverage and are looking for things to do in the region. "We reach them where they live and where they visit," she says.

The magazine's departments focus on a specific niche of Vermont's lifestyle including Personalities; Entrepreneurs; Spotlights on productions and openings (Museums, Art Galleries, Antiques, Theater, Dance, Music); Design Observed; Food & Wine; New and Notable and Calendar of Events. The magazine also offers editorial space in "Talk of the Arts" pages for cultural commentary.

SO Vermont Arts & Living's team is comprised of Jeff Potter, design; Martin Langeveld, website; Eric Pero, calendar listings; along with a host of seasoned professional writers, including Joyce Marcel, Jon Potter, Arlene Distler, Susan Smallheer, Meg Brazill, Kathleen Cox, Nicole Colson, and Marty Ramsburg-all experts on various aspects of the arts and its impact on the local economy and local culture.

"While the magazine has evolved over the last 10 years, the editorial focus of the magazine remains true," she says.

Barrett says that the magazine wants to know: Who are we? Why do we come here? Why do we stay? How do we live? How do we work? How are we inspired? How do we inspire others? What do we care about? How do we play? Whom do we turn to for advice, information, and expertise? How are we fulfilling our dreams? What do we want for the future?

"These are the questions we try to answer," she says. 'We love hearing from our readers and their stories. In fact, we want to hear from folks specifically about why they love Southern Vermont. And we want to know about their biggest challenges."

The magazine is "conducting a little kitchen research," says Barrett, who can be reached at vermontartsliving@gmail.com.

"With the world changing so fast, it's not easy to predict what will happen next," Barrett says, but she believes in the power of the magazine to help celebrate a region-and to get readers locally to perceive their own area as a special place with the capacity to capture visitors' hearts, minds, and spirits.

While many communities have turned to the arts to revitalize themselves and strengthen their economies, without a vehicle to promote the critical mass of activities, events, people, cultural experiences, and sense of place, many well intentioned efforts fall short of their full potential. Further, the lack of such a promotional tool diminishes all efforts to market the region as a vital, attractive destination. SO Vermont Arts & Living is that promotional tool that positively impacts the region," she believes.

And one editorial style decision reflects those values.

"We believe in Southern Vermont with a capital S," Barrett says. "Southern Vermont is not just an adjective. Southern Vermont is a destination."


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