It is with great pleasure that I salute a local media stalwart, our weekly alternative paper Artvoice, as it celebrates its twentieth anniversary. I wrote about visual art for Artvoice from 1996-99, and remember it as great fun. My fellow writers, some of whom are still with AV, are still my friends; in fact some of them are important contributors to this magazine.Buffalo is too small a town for petty rivalries, and I like to think that our various media outlets, though often competitive, also retain solidarity and collegiality. We’re all trying to keep our balance in the shifting sands as TV, newspapers, radio, and magazines reinvent themselves in the new world of “content.”

I also like to think that in many ways, Artvoice and Buffalo Spree have similar aims: we value WNY’s cultural heritage, as well as everything else that keeps us in the area—the neighborhoods, the festivals, the food, the architecture, the natural beauty that surrounds us. That couldn’t be more obvious than in this Best Of issue, which celebrates many of the local businesses, people, and institutions that AV saluted in their Best Of issue a couple months back. And as I mentioned in a short piece I wrote for their anniversary, the fact that Western New York has supported a paper named Artvoice for as long as it has says plenty about our commitment to culture.

Indeed, were it not for Artvoice, I might never be working for Spree. The flyer advertising an editor’s position at Buffalo Spree was sent to my Artvoice mailbox; it was lucky that I happened to check it. That flyer ended up leading me on a totally different career path, one that I’ve followed longer—and loved more—than anything else I’ve done in my life.

I hope that there will always be room for all of us who work in print media—whether at Spree, Artvoice, the News, Business First, Western New York Heritage, Amherst Bee, or any of the many print publications that continue to be read by WNY households.

Happy reading, and enjoy the summer.


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