The Fire This Time

Photograph by Irum Shahid

Considering it’s really old technology, a magazine is a pretty darned sophisticated data delivery system that still works remarkably well. A collection of words and images — stories intended to be of interest (usually) to a rather large general audience — it’s an easily portable device with full functionality for informing, entertaining, arguing and persuading.

And it’s so nice how magazines pile up comfortably and conveniently in the living room or bedroom. In the corner of the office and backseat of the car. No matter how many bookmarks you have on your Web browser or which bloggers’ busy and clunky sites you keep clicking back to, you’re bound to pick up a magazine from time to time, flip through the pages, perhaps enjoy the feel of the paper between your fingers, the weight of the periodical in your hands.

Which brings us to City Arts, the magazine you are holding and reading at this moment. Thank you so much for having the curiosity to give us a look. We’re the new kid in town, hoping to hold your attention and earn your trust as we explore, both broadly and in depth, the idea of creativity in our community. Who’s making art and making a difference in Seattle, where culture, at the moment, is an invigorating blend of art, design, film, music, dance, theatre, fashion and so much more.

We’re aiming to publish the best writers, photographers and illustrators in our region. It takes many different approaches to tell the story of this particular place and time and we’re all about the mix. We’re making an argument for patience and, sometimes, even length in our skittish digital world. Also seriousness in a culture that, alas, did not become less ironic after 9/11, only more crass and glib. But we want you to have a few laughs with us in every issue, too: that’s why we’re including comics and other lighter fare.

Making art of any kind is an act of affirmation. No matter how dark the subject matter or pessimistic the message, the artist says yes in the very effort to communicate and connect. That’s our idea in bringing this new magazine to you: consider this our affirmative action to tell you something different than what every other magazine is telling you. To surprise you, offer discoveries and inspire your enthusiasm and engagement with creativity everywhere you find it. Stick with us: we’re lighting a candle and taking a good look all over town.

We hope City Arts will provide you with a lot of reading pleasure. And we will be delighted if you are inspired to write us back with your comments and suggestions. We’re happy to have you with us on this printed voyage of discovery.

— The Editors