A year of Jasper -- a message from Cindi

It's about this time in the magazine cycle that I always start feeling a little sappy. The magazines are hot and ready and waiting to get into the hands of artists and art lovers all over the city. Any number of people have volunteered to help out with the release event in any way from serving to setting up to cleaning up to sharing their artistic talents. My family members have all checked in to see what their jobs are and taken over important tasks so I know we're covered in those areas. I'm even still getting phone calls from friends asking if there's anything they can do to help. (Margey Bolen will be checking IDs tonight, for example.) And I find myself just a little verklempt. I can't help it -- I'm a wimp.

This issue of Jasper represents the completion of our first full year of publication -- six issues, every other month, when we said we would bring them to you, and with complete financial transparency. Every ad penny -- and plenty of non-ad pennies -- have gone into printing the magazine and paying our staff and contributors a very modest honorarium. The editors work for free.

This is what is so overwhelming.

Just like all the talent coming on the stage tonight, every single person involved in Jasper, from the creating of it to the sustaining of it to the celebration of it, cast their lot with the magazine simply as a labor of love. They love what they're doing -- they love what other artists are doing -- and they want to be a part of something good.

I do feel good about what we've done this year. In today's issue of Jasper I list every single individual who has made a contribution to Jasper throughout the last year. (I SO hope I didn't forget anyone!) I can't thank them all enough for being a part of this mission. I neglected to include all the talented artists who have come to the release parties and played or performed for us -- usually just for beer (and cheap beer at that.)

So, officially, to all the performers who have celebrated with us, the artists who have appeared in our pages, the contributors who created those pages, the editors who share their expertise, the dozens of volunteers, the Krewe de Jasper, the readers, the advisors, and the extended Jasper family -- Thank You.

Here's to an exciting new year!