Friday February 3rd 2023

Keep citizen journalism alive!



Alley Board – 2021 Year in Review

The coronavirus pandemic continues to challenge our ability to connect in person with our partners, sponsors, and our Phillips community members. The pandemic has limited our ability to strengthen our relationships, and to host in-person fundraisers. In spite of these challenges, we have successfully continued to publish the Alley, and we have increased our capacity to find new writers in the Phillips community, who bring a more diverse array of stories and information to you. For this, credit is due to the Editorial Leadership Committee, a group of Phillips volunteers dedicated to telling the stories of our neighborhood through community-led journalism. The Committee was formed a few years ago, to focus on distributing the work of  storytelling and copy-editing our monthly content to more community members, to better support our mission of community led and community informed journalism.

While fundraising continues to be a challenge, we are happy to report that we were awarded a grant from the Swedish Institute to reach and highlight the work of small businesses and artists of color, to support and promote their work to a wider audience. We raised significant revenue from Alley readers and supporters. We also increased the number of sponsored pages, produced by organizations that wish to reach the Phillips community. Currently, four city-funded Phillips neighborhood organizations sponsor half- and full-page spaces to communicate their work, their community happenings, and to promote engagement with the people they serve. Additionally, the Cultural Wellness Center sponsors the back page each month to promote their community wellness initiatives. 

This success allowed us to hire a part time business manager, Ben Heath, to manage tasks that Harvey Winje and Susan Gust have performed for many many years, when we could not even think of hiring someone to do the basic operations of the Alley. We are also very proud to have Jessie Merriam as our graphic designer and layout expert. Jessie is very grounded in the Phillips and surrounding communities, which has helped us reach more grassroots community endeavors, and to highlight more of the wonderful work our community produces.

Finally, as a Board of a small nonprofit, we are always looking for new members to support the work of all the wonderful people who produce the Alley. We are currently discussing new ways to operate and meet our mission with fewer monthly meetings, and with a more focused effort on our core functions. We would love to hear from you.

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