We’re back & HOO-EE do we have news for you

That’s Variable West’s official mom and third generational Rina bursting with joy for VW’s return (technically her revelry and the pyrotechnics were for her birthday, but I’ll say they are for VW’s return).

A lot has happened over the past four months. So much, in fact, that to save your brains and not max out your attention spans, I’m going to keep this short and list-like with the option to read more:

1. Variable West received a $33,500 grant from Critical Minded for 2023 operating costs (WOW!!!). Read more about how Critical Minded has supported VW in 2022, 2021, and their incredible programming.

2. Besides keeping VW alive, the most exciting thing the grant makes possible is letting me hire Ella Ray as Associate Editor. Read Ella’s letter.

3. I’m experimenting with a new radical transparency financial model. Will I regret it? Maybe!

4. Our limited edition artist collaboration tees are on sale! No promo code needed!

4. The VW publishing program is changing in a few ways:

  • I’m publishing only what I can afford (kind of obvious but not part of my original, produce-as-much-as-humanly-possible business plan).
  • I’m launching a new (and I think very cool) community supported art writing initiative that lets you directly support the writing you want to read. More on that soon.
  • I’m expanding beyond official, canonical, capitol letters, The Arts to West Coast creatives of all types. More on that soon (hint: this song is stuck in my head).

5. The first Cliff Notes of 2023 is coming this Thursday, April 6! Are you subscribed?

6. We’re uploading the ENTIRE Cliff Notes archive to the website! That means almost three years of weekly emails recording the best West Coast art, all searchable and at your fingertips (eventually, we’re a tiny team of part time people doing many things).

That was a lot, here’s a clip of my ducks from last summer to cleanse your mental palette:

And here are three songs about coming back to work:

P.S. This new website is a work in progress. If you find something that isn’t working or looks wonky, please let us know! Email us at hello@variablewest.com.