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August 9, 2017 - Just going through my hundreds of emails this morning as I do each morning at work. This morning I was struck by how wonderful your newsletter is, has always been, and what an incredible work you are doing each day in the community.

I have worked in private and public sector for about 25 years now. I have seen the birth and tragic death of so many news letters that now, when I hear someone in my organization say with great enthusiasm “OO! Let’s do a newsletter!” I cringe. Its life cycle is like clockwork every single time.

Inspiration, excitement, everyone throws themselves into its creation, people are reading newsletter getting good feedback, discovery that it is a lot more work than realized to make newsletters visually appealing and with well written succinct topics of interest to readers, help in making newsletter starts to dwindle, now down to just 1-2 people still willing to do it but beginning to forget why they’re doing it, readers now only reading newsletter sporadically, newsletter production starts to get more erratic & quality declining too, readers now starting to get officially annoyed by newsletters and deleting before opening. Newsletter dies sad lonely death.

But yours – visually well done, well organized, succinct gets to the point fast but also written with heart. You guys are moving fast and furiously and you’re well organized. There is never a shortage of interesting topics in the newsletter and I continue to be inspired by all of the work you are doing. I have never been part of a community like this and to watch it growing new dimensions so rapidly is truly a marvel to watch.

I had no idea about the casino and its history and it actually brought tears to my eyes. In high school Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong were my idols. To think that those guys were physically present in that place – performing!! Gives me chills to imagine it. Growing up in the 80s I was the only kid in school I knew that fixated on artists like that and it made me recall how marginalized I often felt in school. And now here I am, in this amazing  community. This vision that you are building, the wonderful people in the arts community… I have never been in a place where so many eccentric creative people have found each other and in it, found “home”. “Home” in the sense not just of place but of more ephemeral space in which you feel not only more free but continuously encounter people and ideas that surprise, inspire you, make you ask more questions about yourself, your life, your community, your planet! A home in the sense that when you are there, you feel rooted and that everything is Right, even when things are a struggle or not necessarily going well. You are where you should be. I miss the West and its wilderness and wide open spaces. It is my home, where my soul lives – but you all and the artists and arts enthusiasts that make up our community and this vision have done what I didn’t think was possible you’ve created a nest far from my Home where my soul can be at peace, to feel Right again.

A long way of saying thanks. Thanks as a fellow artist, as someone who wants to live in a place that still has its soul, and thanks as someone who knows how damn hard it is to make good newsletters!


Kim McDaniel

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