A Humble New Year's Wish from BROOKLYN & BOYLE

By Abel M. Salas, Editor

With our twelfth annual year-end, holiday season issue in production, Brooklyn & Boyle extends heartfelt and infinite gratitude to the greater family of readers, contributing writers, advertisers, artists, educators, advocates, activists, organizers, community builders and dreamers that have made this significant—but no less hard-won and hard-earned—milestone possible. Conceived, discussed and developed in the fall of 2007 in and around East L.A., El Sereno, Lincoln Heights, City Terrace and Boyle Heights, our plucky, still standing and still independent East Side arts, culture and community issues print publication and online media platform proudly welcomes a new decade with at once vividly intense and subtly provocative cover art by East L.A.-based visual artist Maritza Torres.

We acknowledge, of course, the respected curators and arts community colleagues who hipped us to her work early on, foremost among them: visionary Boyle Heights proto-artivista por vida Nico Avina, the Espacio 1839 co-founder who curated Torres' first-ever solo exhibit there in 2017; Ave. 50 Studio director Kathy Gallegos, who followed suit with a Highland Park show of her work in 2019; and editor/publisher Viva Padilla at Dryland, the emergent South Central Los Angeles literary journal which includes illustrations by Torres in its latest edition. Inspired by that convergence of art and literature, our upcoming newsprint issue will also include a survey of books published in 2019, among them several poetry collections and the groundbreaking, inter-generational and multi-genre anthology, Voices From the Ancestors: Xicanx and Latinx Spiritual Expressions and Healing Practices (University of Arizona Press, 2019), co-edited by respected scholars Martha Gonzales and Lara Medina. Writers included in our inaugural installment of the official "LéaLos: An East Side New Year's Reading Guide" represent a new literary heartland that stretches from the San Francisco Bay Area to the storied Rio Grande Valley of South Texas.

As it happens, the borderlands on both sides of that long, narrow and poorly named waterway--in some places more like a stream or a creek--figure prominently in a true-life report by internationally acclaimed visual artist Luís Guerra. An honored guest editor and life-long friend, Guerra recounts the history-making quest he undertook to replenish the dwindling deer population of the Sierra Madre in Jalisco, ancestral home to the native Huichol people, for whom deer are sacred.

We are equally thrilled to publish an enchanting, homespun portrait of an unforgettable and beloved denizen of historic Boyle Heights, a Depression era transplant from NY, known popularly as "Aunt Bea" to the many she befriended after her arrival. The story of Aunt Bea is the latest in a series of regular columns written exclusively for Brooklyn & Boyle and offered freely as a community-building service by contributing editor emeritus Shirlee Smith. A Boyle Heights native, award-winning journalist, acclaimed author, respected parenting advisor and community elder, Smith leads a crucial and long overdue effort to document and celebrate the African American legacy in Boyle Heights. Her wisdom and grace are chief among the blessings we counted in 2019, an otherwise challenging and, at times, worrisome year for both Black and Chicanx/Latinx communities across the U.S.  

Although it may not seem so, publishing a periodical of the caliber and quality Brooklyn & Boyle readers have come to expect remains a monumental financial challenge and taxing exercise in design, formatting and proofing alone. The solitary, single-handed effort demanded of your friendly neighborhood editor and "hacelotodo" at press time is severe, to put it mildly. Our recent move to a small Boyle Heights live/work rental space inside a 116-year-old split level home consumed an immense and unforeseen measure of both resources and time. This was and remains compounded by a thus far unfulfilled payment for a series of advertisements requested by a former advertising sponsor of note who asked us to resume publication of a significantly sized display ad which had previously run in consecutive issues for period long enough to be regarded as a sustaining sponsorship. This scenario, one in which we find ourselves ghosted by an advertising client, while not common, has occurred in a handful of instances, but ordinarily involves smaller, single issue ad placement. In those cases, it was simply easier to call it a wash and move on with our chins up and our familiar glass half-full perspective.

Fact: second and third-generation native Eastsider stakeholders enjoy reading Brooklyn & Boyle. They ask for it at drop off locations where it disappears in days. During delivery, they compliment the previous issue. Some ask for an extra copy they've already promised to someone at home. The feedback has always been extremely gratifying, but it necessary now to confess that the increasingly frequent day-to-day sense of precariousness and the mad scramble to cover printing costs and address the reality of cash flow concerns has forced us, for the first time in 11 years, to initiate a thorough evaluation, revision and update of our advertising rates effective immediately. We are at a critical juncture, and it is with sincere urgency that we extend an unprecedented plea for support in the form of advertising purchases--a practical and effective way to market your services, products, small business, promotional event or personal creative output. Brooklyn & Boyle is a sound, worthwhile investment and provides a range of options in both Spanish and English tailored to reinforce and support allocations for outdoor advertising or radio/TV commercials, for example.

We also respectfully ask readers, friends, allies and the great many (easily hundreds by now) of you who have been featured, pictured and shamelessly loved on or ever had your projects, efforts or talents as artists, performers and cultural workers presented within our pages alongside legit New York Times-vetted wordskill to please consider making a nominal one-time only $5 to $10 PayPal donation at www.brooklynandboyle.com. Your small gift will be like bling on a giant barrio-fabulous heart, reflecting, refracting and radiating the beauty and brilliance that have blossomed organically across the true East Side for generations. We need your help to stabilize a number of operational systems and logistical transportation and delivery requirements. This will, in turn, keep the presses rolling while we finalize ad rate revisions and print the updated version as a full-color brochure and create a corresponding PDF version for upload onto our website and social media pages and online dissemination.

Distributed widely as a free publication, Brooklyn & Boyle has not previously offered subscriptions or postal delivery. Beginning with the issue we are assembling now, however, subscription service will be added as an online order option for anyone who prefers to have the newsprint edition delivered directly to their residence or P.O. Box through U.S.P.S. Subscription services will be activated on January 15th, 2020. Subscribers will be mailed 12 successively published issues. A $45 subscription fee is payable in advance. PayPal, Venmo and Google payments are all accepted after our Subscription Dept. confirms the electronic transaction or verifies receipt of a check or money order mailed or delivered in person to: 338 S. Boyle Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90033.

We wish you a very  Happy New Year and thank you for taking time to read this important message. We are very grateful for your kind consideration of what we've proposed herein. For more information on advertising in Brooklyn & Boyle, call (213) 858-8252. To request the 2020 rate card and specific parameters of the limited, last chance opportunity to advertise your business, company, organization, event, products, or services at the 2019 ad rates, to which standard frequency and non-profit discounts can also still apply, please email brooklynandboyle@gmail.com with your name, your company name or business DBA, a company address, and a daytime telephone number.


Popular posts from this blog

OP-ED: Why I Did Not Resign; Outgoing Council Member Issues Righteous Reality Check

OP-ED: It's the People's House, Disrespect at Your Own Peril