Great News: BURNAWAY Cofounders Now Working Full Time for Atlanta Arts!

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Dear Atlanta,

Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art at the Hunter Museum through January 8th

The last two weeks have been a lovely blur with so much to do. But we at least wanted to share the latest wonderful news and let everyone know our watch over this city has only just begun. BURNAWAY is here to stay!

Thanks again to everyone whose efforts propelled us to this milestone. We truly couldn’t have done it without all the donors, mentors, contributors, and local artists who’ve helped shape this publication, its culture, and its future. I love my job, and for that I am profoundly grateful.

And now for the press release with all the official details:

New-media publication BURNAWAY
creates jobs in times of industry uncertainty

Atlanta, Georgia — May 15, 2012 — The Atlanta-based visual arts publication BURNAWAY is proud to announce the hiring of two full-time employees. The online magazine’s cofounders Jeremy Abernathy, Editor-in-Chief, and Susannah Darrow, Executive Director, began transitioning to their new full-time duties beginning May 1, 2012, following their successful winter and spring fundraising campaign for a challenge grant from Possible Futures, an Atlanta-based foundation.

The Possible Futures challenge required BURNAWAY to raise $20,000 during a six-month period that would be matched dollar-for-dollar for a total of $40,000 in operational funds. The publication met the goal a full month early after holding its first annual Art Crush Bash, a Valentine’s Day-themed live auction on Saturday, February 25, 2012.

The fundraiser met with considerable community support not only from donors, but also visual artists who provided in-kind gifts and volunteer service hours. The Art Crush event featured multimedia presentations with interviews and skits by local artists, and auction items ranged from private film screenings to the chance for winners to have their portrait created by a local painter or photographer.

“Artists improve a city’s quality of life, much like having trees lining the streets,” said Jeremy Abernathy, Editor-in-Chief. “They help provide the beauty and strangeness that make life random in stimulating ways. We are thankful to those who’ve helped us reach this milestone and to our Board of Directors and Possible Futures for placing their faith in our mission.”

“We are so thankful and excited to have the support of the community,” said Susannah Darrow, Executive Director. “The grant will enable us to push BURNAWAY to do exciting and innovative programs throughout the next year that will be a huge asset to the arts community and audiences.”

“The Board is extremely proud of the efforts that helped reach our goals early,” said Stephanie Dowda, President of the nonprofit’s Board of Directors. “This great achievement will allow BURNAWAY to grow into new initiatives this year while continuing to provide dynamic dialogue for the arts in our city. Burn on!”

Together with other funds raised over the past two years, including governmental grants and a previous $30,000 award from Possible Futures in 2010, BURNAWAY is carefully investing the challenge grant towards improving the publication’s editorial and public programs. The two cofounders currently are busy revising their annual business plan, which will then become the foundation of a long-term strategic plan.

Fundraising continues, however, to meet several financial goals that include increasing freelance writers’ compensation to higher fair rates, an industry-wide concern after the newspaper crashes of 2009. Ongoing revenue initiatives include advertising, a major annual fundraiser event in September of 2012, a membership program, and new programs such as a Secret Supper Series and tours of private art collections around the city.

BURNAWAY’s creation of full-time positions comes alongside recent announcements of further staffing reductions at Creative Loafing, the local alt-weekly newspaper, as well as leadership change at the Atlanta-based Art Papers magazine. BURNAWAY’s staff regards these publications as esteemed colleagues, and they will use their online presence to help lend stability and continuity as the media industry transitions through the digital revolution.

Full-time employment also coincides with moving into a new office space at the Goat Farm Arts Center, a converted mid-Victorian factory complex located near Atlanta’s Westside Arts District. There, the staff looks forward to being in closer contact with local artists, as well as those traveling for exhibitions in Atlanta from out of state and internationally.

BURNAWAY is an online magazine and 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded by Jeremy Abernathy and Susannah Darrow in 2008, the publication is a proud grassroots movement rallying the creative forces of Atlanta to make it a true destination for the arts.

The publication primarily focuses on visual art, but also includes dance and film. Regular features include critical reviews, a weekly events calendar, video, other multimedia and a radio program broadcast in partnership with AM 1690, a local radio station.

All BURNAWAY contributors are paid with funds raised through advertising, donations and grants. They provide arts dialogue with smarts and soul!

Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art at the Hunter Museum through January 8th

As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions as we move into the next chapter of (y)our publication. And please feel free to drop by and see us at the Goat Farm if you’re in the neighborhood!

Yours truly, gratefully,

Jeremy Abernathy, Editor-in-Chief

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