This is the most difficult letter I’ve ever written as editor of the Denver VOICE because it is my last. The VOICE has been a part of my life for almost a decade. Now, after many years as a writer and volunteer, and three fantastic years as editor, it’s time for me to move on to a new chapter.
The opportunity to be the editor of the Denver VOICE has been one of the best experiences of my life. As editor, I’ve seen firsthand how creative expression can help people heal and process trauma.
Take this month’s photo feature, which starts on page 13. Usually at the VOICE creative expression happens through writing, but this summer vendors had the opportunity to participate in a photography project. The very kind and talented Dave Thatcher of the nonprofit Picture Me Here led a workshop for vendors. Afterwards, participating vendors got cameras and instructions to go out and capture their worlds on film. Raelene Johnson is one of the vendor photographers featured in this issue. When I told her that I loved her photos and that she did a good job, she told me matter-of-factly that it was the paper that had given her the confidence to explore art and writing.
The August issue is full of stories of the healing power of art. On page 8, we have a spread detailing some local nonprofits that offer everything from dance therapy to studio art time for people experiencing homelessness. And on page 11, our very own editorial intern Katelyn Skye Bennett writes about two young men trying to exist while adding a bit of music to the 16th Street Mall.
As John Muir said, everyone needs beauty as well as bread. Working with vendors has been one of the most rewarding parts of my job; what they are able to create never ceases to surprise and inspire me, and it is especially difficult to leave them.
Fortunately, I’ll still be able to enjoy the content our vendors create and the progress they make as a reader. I look forward to following the evolution of the Denver VOICE as it continues to grow. ■