Here at the start of the new year, I thought I'd take the opportunity to offer a "State of Big RED" report to you, our loyal readers and supporters. 2005 was a big year for us, for many reasons, and 2006 is looking even better!
To begin with, our audience has almost quadrupled since January of 2005. We started the year with about 2000 loyal readers, and entered 2006 with over 7500! Letters have come to us from Turkey, The UK, Italy, Australia, Korea, as well as states all over the US. This is the most important thing for us, as writers and editors and thinkers -- that others care about what we do, and support the scene that we are writing about. Big RED & Shiny is not about making money or getting famous, it is for people who care about art to read and write about our small scene in New England, and to support in any way they can.
Late in January of 2005 we hosted a fundraiser at the Boston Center for the Arts, which many of you attended despite the mountains of snow and bitter cold. The money we raised has been put to good use, and the impact of that one evening was felt for months afterward by those here at Big RED. We implemented many changes to the site, improved our listings service, expanded our base of writers, and took on a lot of projects that were not possible earlier. Most importantly, we saw how much our little pink project means to Boston, and found renewed energy in the midst of a long, cold winter.
More recently, we were recipients of a generous grant from the LEF Foundation, which supports our work and allows us to refrain from a public fundraiser this year, allowing you to support other great organizations (The Berwick, Green Street, Mobius, Art Interactive, and Artists Foundation all spring to mind!) that make Boston great. You can, of course, give us your money if you would like, by clicking the PayPal button in our menu.
2006 promises to be a spectacular year for Big RED & Shiny. Tom Marquet's comic "The White Cube" brings a new, light-hearted side to our columns section, while Kathy Bitetti's forthcoming column on legal issues for artists promises to provide the important information you need. We have several new writers who bring a fresh voice, while you can count on your favorite Big RED regulars to continue to bring the in-depth coverage and solid critical thinking you've come to expect.
New projects are also in the works. Look for our new porfolio site, the Big RED Flatfile, to launch early in the year. Plans for the Big RED Bookstore are also underway, with a projected launch date early in 2007. A Big RED print annual is also in the works, promising to bring the same art-scene cache to your coffee table as our website does to your browser.
2005 may be gone, but it has left its mark on Big RED & Shiny. We are very proud of our accomplishments this past year, and look forward to what the next one will bring. We hope you'll stick around, and enjoy the ride with us.