*** Published: November 13, 2010 in the Bristol Herald Courier. ***
Friday [November 12, 2010] was A! Magazine for the Arts Day, in case you missed it. The day was proclaimed so by both cities of Bristol.
In a declaration signed Nov. 2, Bristol Tennessee Mayor Margaret Feierabend outlined the accolades poured on the magazine, which is distributed monthly inside this newspaper, and on its parent organization, the Arts Alliance Mountain Empire.
Accolades for the magazine include:
* The Tennessee Governor's 2003 Award for Arts Leadership;
* A 2007 Pinnacle tourism award for the print edition and the e-mail digest;
* And three awards in 2009 from the Society of Professional Journalists, Tri-Cities Chapter.
Accolades for the AAME – the group that founded and operates the Art in Public Places project in the Twin City – includes being the 2006 winner of the Award for Arts Leadership from the Arts Council of Greater Kingsport.
In the spirit of disclosure, we must mention that A! Magazine was started in 1994 as a project of the Bristol Herald Courier, but was transferred to the arts organization in 2004. While the AAME is now the publisher, all distribution and printing is donated by the newspaper.
The arts alliance and the volunteers who put together A! Magazine deserve the accolades and applause. The magazine's informative role is vital to a thriving arts scene, and a thriving arts scene is key pillar for a prosperous community.
Yes, there are kinks in the works because of the economy, but because of the dedication of such community-minded souls as those behind A! Magazine, the arts pillar in Bristol stands strong, and will be key to guiding this region into better times.