Well, here we are—having hit the point where all of our print content has been reproduced online, and no plan to continue publishing in print or digitally, this the end of Lamplighter as far as I can reasonably foresee.
I can attribute this to a multitude of reasons that encompass the financial, the social, and the personal. But none of that needs to be drawn out and, really, no one is to blame; The hard truth? Publishing a magazine is incredibly difficult, and near impossible to accomplish on a shoestring budget. That we at Lamplighter were able to produce—with immense generosity from friends, family, and community—five magazines was no small task.
I will be forever impressed with the work we did here. I was blessed with a fine group of writers, editors, photographers, and other contributors who helped administrate and manage the cobbling-together of, what were truly, pretty professional magazines. After we completed the fifth issue, we were on the edge of launching our operation to a larger scale, hoping to become a full non-profit, hoping to expand our intention and role in the art and music community of New Jersey beyond just publishing a magazine. Many of us were, however, also on the edge of change in our personal lives: new careers, new living situations, and new projects for all of us.
Lamplighter allowed us so much opportunity to grow. We launched with no real experience in publishing or events. We cut our teeth on this rare chance and wild choice to self-organize and self-start. But Lamplighter unfortunately didn’t grow with us in a way that would be manageable in the transition from jobless college grads to advancing and busy adults.
For now, the website will remain up until the funds in our account are spent. Our fourth and fifth issues will remain for sale until the end of the year to support this account as well. Beyond that, we have no plans to restart or transfer Lamplighter to anyone.
If you need to get in touch with anyone at Lamplighter, our e-mail addresses are still functioning, and most of us can be found on various forms of social media. Don’t hesitate to reach out.
It’s not without a heavy sadness that I write this post. I’ve definitely delayed writing it for a while. But I’ll be forever grateful for the experience I gained and the great people I’ve met with Lamplighter:
If you’ve ever purchased a magazine, or came to one of our shows, or supported our crowdfunding campaigns—thank you.
If you are an artist, or writer, or musician who we were able to host at an event, or feature in the magazine, or simply shared what we did with others—thank you.
If you are anyone who shared what we did with others—another show promoter, a local radio host, someone who found our magazine in the wild—thank you.
To the staff of writers, photographers, and various other coordinators who met with me once a month for two years straight in order to keep this thing afloat—you’re all incredible people. Thank you.
To editors past and present—Mike, Catalina, Jordan, Marla, John. This would’ve been impossible with you. For all the craziness that producing a magazine entails, I hope the journey was as valuable to you as it has been for me. Thank you all.
To the original instigators of this endeavor—Megan, Dhru, Nadia. We cooked up this scheme together in diners and around campfires. Without you, this would have never happened at all. For believing anything is possible, and maintaining the spark that started us five years ago, thank you.
All my best,
Our show last Thursday in Jersey City was fantastic. Every band — The Cartwheelers, The Sound is Fine, Hodera, and Lake Effect — played amazing sets, and I was thrilled to see The Lamp Post full, and at the very least active, from start to finish. And maybe, now a week later, it’s too late to write about it. I mean, to really write about it. The energy and high from the night has completely passed. My hearing isn’t fuzzy. I’m sober.
But I want it all back.
Sometimes I catch myself spacing out in ambiguous roadside diners late at night, lose myself in thrift shops looking for sweaters and ceramic owls, and focus too long on cadmium splotches of tempera- all due to work exhaustion. I’ve come home with clay in my ear, paint in my hair, and gone out for coffee with charcoal smeared on my face.
I’m Lauren DiPalma, art editor at Lamplighter, independent artist, and art educator. I am the fine arts enrichment educator at North Star Academy in Newark, New Jersey, and an instructor for the Studio Kids Art program offered at the Art Garage in downtown Montclair. I’ve featured my artwork in group showcases and charity events in New Jersey at the Apollo 1 Gallery in Boonton, Trinity and the Pope in Asbury Park, Open Hearts Music and Art Festival in Jackson, and the Local Folk-al Point Festival in Point Pleasant.
I put up with my own fatigue and artistic exasperation because I truly admire my students and the artists I work with for their capacity to create the inner workings of their imaginations, their eagerness to learn and explore their existence, and their innate desire to freely express the songs of their souls. It is my mission to work towards the progression of both students and artists through my work as an educator and as editor at Lamplighter here in New Jersey. I love working at Lamplighter because it has given me the opportunity to reach further than I ever could before to provide support to all the artistic souls residing in our great state of New Jersey by recognizing and rewarding their creative importance.
My work here with the magazine is all done in memory of my dad, John DiPalma, who passed away in 2012 and who first inspired me toward my artistic path. My dad was my best friend and my greatest supporter, the one who taught me how to draw a star when I was 5. He was the front man and guitarist of a New Jersey metal band for over 10 years, and he gave me my first autographed copy of Metal Edge Magazine when I was in elementary school. I can’t carry a tune to save my life, but I carry him with me in my memory, letting him live on like the catch of a riff throughout my endeavors in art and my work with artists, writers, and musicians at Lamplighter.
I can only reach so far on my own. In order to continue my mission to make and celebrate art, to make Lamplighter successful in the way that we at the magazine plan to, I have placed my trust in the community I so love. And I can think of no greater way to honor my dad than to give those people who welcomed him into their community the recognition they deserve for the art they create and give to the world. Now, I am asking you to help us grow as an organization by contributing to our Indiegogo campaign. You’re helping to fund our magazine, yes, but you’re also helping to fund a way for us to express our love for New Jersey and its artists.
Thank you to all our current contributors and supporters! We want to break 50% of our funding goal by Thursday! All contributors between now and then who help us get there will be entered to win ALL of our perks as well as the framed 8″ x 10″ photo of their choice from the portfolio of our videographer / photographer Jordan Weinrich. Every donation with multiple $5 values ($10, $15, $20, etc) counts as extra entries per multiple of 5 (so $100 = 20 entries).
1) We must meet our 50% goal by Thursday
2) You must contribute and share it on social media
3) You cannot be staff or family of Lamplighter
4) Only new contributions count
Lamplighter posted an AMA on the /r/NewJersey subreddit, so the community could ask us questions about our organization and our campaign. We’ve also been asked a few questions privately that we think deserve to be acknowledged publicly. So here’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothin’ but the truth:
Starting an $8,000 campaign is honestly terrifying. But Lamplighter has been fortunate enough to see contributors raise $974 for us just in the first 24 hours. That’s 12 percent of our goal! We’re so excited that people believe in our mission to promote and support the New Jersey music, art, and writing community.
We want to publicly thank all of those who were brave enough to donate on our first day. From the whole team at Lamplighter, endless love and thanks goes out to:
Denton Loving, Jessica Danger, Steve Levitt, Cassie Pruyn, Tyler Erhard, Lee Hancock, Erick Endres, April Darcy, David Gonzalez, and a handful of Anonymous contributors! And congrats to April Darcy, especially, for pushing us over the 10% mark! You’re getting a copy of Those Mockingbirds’ new album Penny the Dreadful, courtesy of my wallet.
I’m a man of my word.