I’m Nadia Nieves, the Promotions Director for Lamplighter, and I sing in a band. It’s the sixth band I’ve been in since I was thirteen years old. Countless folders and notebooks are filled with songs I’ve written and most of these songs from my high school years, about boys and being angry at someone. Whenever I get around to really cleaning my room, I find these pages of silly, adolescent rants and laugh to myself. I reminisce about friends I used to have, and ideals I had stolen from others. There are a few accompanying drawings that are particularly hilarious; stick figures acting out dramatic lyrics. As funny as these pieces of paper are, I would never show them to anyone. These cliche-ridden songs are excerpts from my adolescence that I dare not throw away because it would be like throwing out an arm or a leg. I cannot throw out a piece of myself.
Now, after graduating from William Paterson University and working with kids with Autism, the songs I write reflect a more perceptive and optimistic person. Looking back, I realize that change is necessary. I had to start with the cliche lyrics and melodies in order to get to where I am now. This is my art. It may not be known by many or provide any income, but it’s what I do; I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t do it.
Ever since Patrick, Megan, Dhruvin and I started Lamplighter, I’ve been inspired to write songs that really matter. I’m more excited about going to shows and galleries. My level of enthusiasm for New Jersey’s culture has strengthed not only because I get to work with my friends, but I also get to meet amazing, talented people who live next door to me. I want to encourage the artists, musicians, and poets in New Jersey to know that we support what they are doing. Lamplighter, to me has been and will continue to be a way to bring awareness to the culture that NJ has to offer. We don’t have to look far to find inspiration through a string of words, the vibrations of strings, or brush strokes on a canvas. We have all of those things here, right now.
It’s these things, when brought to the light, that people realize they share similar stories. By supporting and contributing to Lamplighter Magazine’s IndieGoGo campaign, we can ensure these stories are told.
Friends! Family! Supporters of all kinds! We’re moving into the fourth day of our campaign, which I can only say has been an unprecedented success up to this point, and we still have thirteen days left before our mission is complete and closed. However, in just three short days, we’ve managed to raise xxxx – over 50% of our goal. This is a marvelous feat, and we’re almost not sure how to handle it (at least I wasn’t, as per my tweets this morning).
Writing honestly, the sheer number of $100 donations is astounding and certainly unanticipated. This is not to exclude other donors! In fact, we have a significant list of people and organizations who are supporting our publication at various levels that we’d like to thank here:
- James Damion, James Damion Photography & United By Rocket Science
- Rob Quicke, WP 88.7FM & College Radio Day
- Rhonda Mallek, The Fine Grind Coffee Bar
- Travis Seminara, Smacktone Studios
- Karen High, The Project Matters
- Al Vasquez, Spillpeak Media
- Erick Enders, Thread Meets World
- Michael Herbert, Film Corps
- Beth Hansen, Boy Things
- Adam Copeland, Black Water
- Eric Goldberg, The Nico Blues
- Joe Seider, Feudalism
- Matt Yeager, The Death of Me
- Joe Lanza, Holy City Zoo
- Catherine McGowan, Bern and the Brights
And beyond that, we thank every individual sponsor we’ve not yet named or that has asked to remain anonymous.
We are delighted, but know that we’re not yet through, and have many more updates in store for the next two weeks. Be prepared for messages from Nadia, Dhruvin, and Megan, as well as a few messages from people outside of the Lamplighter Magazine staff. We’re also going to start with a new incentive:
If we can reach $1600 by Friday, March 9th, we will release a sample of the upcoming magazine, including the complete interview with Eric Sieglen and Mike Wuchter of Marionette.
There are plenty of ways to help us get to this point outside of donating! Visit our campaign page and you’ll find a variety of sharing tools to help spread the word. We’ll also be using the Twitter hashtags #Lamplighter #Art #Music #Culture #Poetry #NJ and #indiegogo, so if you’re going to tweet for us, try to utilize those and don’t forget to tweet to @LamplighterNJ!
Thank you for everything so far and everything that’s left to come! We truly cannot wait to give you this magazine.
I think there are a couple of truths about me that I find to be unfortunate misconceptions because of my presence and a lack of transparency or revelation on my behalf (for which, I apologize). And, perhaps, I am wildly out of place (for which, I apologize again). But specifically, I think that people:
- Believe I am the main wellspring of Lamplighter.
- Do not know most of the reasons why Lamplighter exists—many of which are, again, not about me.
- Do not know I am, or at least consider myself to be, a poet.
This isn’t to be cocky or to say that everyone believes all of these things—however, if any of these have some basis in reality, I’d like to settle up now and go not a day further with anyone believing or knowing otherwise. To clarify, though I may shout from the rooftops in praise of Lamplighter, I am far from being the only person behind this website and magazine. A great collection of writers and photographers, supporting artists and musicians, poets and personalities make up the greater organization of Lamplighter. The day-to-day operations and planning, however, are managed by myself and three other great people: Megan Dermody, our Managing Editor; Nadia Nieves, our Promotions Director; and Dhruvin Dave, our Marketing Director. In the next couple of days, you’ll see messages from all of them as well.
If it was not for those three, my faithful companions, Lamplighter would not exist. It’s true! In fact, I wouldn’t have even continued with the initial idea of this project if I did not have their support. The four of us have equally conspired to create this beast, and the four of us have committed to see it through. We’re like the Three Musketeers…and one of us is D’Artagnan (You can decide who). I credit them with as much hard work and dedication as anyone credits me.
You might be asking yourself, “Why Lamplighter? Why local alternative culture?” Easy answer! We wanted to be something that pushed us to discover a better side to our local area. Growing up, all we knew were diners and terrible coffee, dirty movie theaters, and crowded malls. But in college, we found a lot of music, art, and poetry. We came across new and wonderful worlds that, we feel, other people need to know about.
Inversely, we live in a difficult time. Arts funding gets cut every year. Local shows become more expensive to see and venues have slowly been falling apart. In the last few months we’ve lost both The Irish and The Court Tavern. And all this standing in the wake of arts and entertainment industries built to support a minority, with negativity and criticism receiving more press than praise? Only the strong can survive. Lamplighter is in place to redirect this scene’s chi and realign its chakras. We’re about positivity and promotion!
Why is it important that I am a poet? For all intents and purposes, it probably isn’t. But I feel people should know this about me. It gives me more character than being the guy outside of the mosh pit, taking pictures at shows. Most don’t know I write poetry, I think, because of some bizarre stereotype that berets and dark sunglasses are necessary requirements for poets, neither of which I possess. I wear boots and blue jeans most of the time, and I only snap my fingers to get my dog’s attention. I’m not published anywhere and I’m very hard on my own writing, so I rarely read out—and yet I am a poet.
Being a poet is as important to me as writing for this magazine. I feel, in some way, I’m giving back to the community. For example, I have read my poetry a couple of different places, and people have complimented my writing or sparked some discussion. I moved someone, even if only a little. That alone is a big deal. I’ve added to a greater conversation and I’ve participated in a beautiful side of life. Lamplighter is just an extension of that process.
I hope now, armed with this information, people see Lamplighter not as “just another blog” or a money-making scheme to capitalize on a niche market. It’s a project of passion. I really do care about the community, and I don’t expect to see a dime come back to my pocket for any of my work. I’ll close saying this: I drink coffee almost every day. Wait!…Wait. Stay with me now. I drink coffee every day, casually picking up a medium paper cup at Quick Chek and fill it to the brim with a dark, delicious brew, no sugar or milk added. I don’t need it, but it certainly helps me work through late night hours, and I enjoy the taste, strange as that may be for some. On average, this cup of coffee is about $2. You don’t have to be a regular coffee drinker like me, but on occasion if you’re in the mood, would you buy a cup of coffee? It’s a simple question and, I’m sure the majority answer is “yes.”
In that case, if you are so inspired on this occasion, would you pledge $2 toward the printing of Lamplighter? This is eight quarters sitting in a change jar. It’s pocket change at the end of the day. And statistically speaking, if everyone who reads this post were to spare us just that right now, we’d reach almost 50% of our goal.
And for that donation, we’ll recognize you as a supporter in the magazine and send you a digital copy. It’s not just supporting this issue either. It’s supporting every issue from here out. Time is limited, so if you can, please visit http://IndieGoGo.com/LamplighterNJ and let us know you believe in our project.
Thank you! And I hope, together, we can do something great for New Jersey.
The first issue of Lamplighter Magazine is absolutely ready to be printed! It’s literally bursting at it’s digital seams. HOWEVER (it’s a big however), we alone cannot afford the printing of the magazine, and it seems advertising is not at its peak this season (more on that later). So, in order to send this ready-and-waiting beast off to be printed and stapled, we need the support of our community. We’ve started a campaign on IndieGoGo where you, our valued group of readers and supports, can give us a hand. We’ve set up an extensive set of perks for anyone who can contribute to our cause monetarily, so take a chance to browse through what we have to offer!
If you don’t already know, we, the staff of Lamplighter Magazine, are a group of plucky graduates from William Paterson University (mostly), who have undertaken this project, believing in its value though it stands in the face of a down and difficult economic time. Starting out as simply this website, we are expanding our operation into a quarterly publication.
This first issue carries great value to us because, unlike simply running the website, the print magazine will give people something to carry. Being able to put pictures and articles, the words of local writers, and interesting stories into your hands is the most direct experience in which we can engage the community outside of bringing you to an art gallery or a poetry reading.
With your contribution, you will allow us to have this experience a thousand times! Your support will provide us with the funding to print 1000 copies of the first issue. This support, however, will extend itself into further issues as we begin to seek out advertisers, who want to know the community believes in our endeavor.
Our Goal & Your Rewards
Our goal is simply to print exactly 1000 copies of the magazine. But the task of printing a magazine is no small item on the daily to-do list! As for this issue, including the perk rewards for the campaign, we need to pay for:
- Printing the magazine
- Shipping it to our headquarters
- Mailing issues out to the happy people of NJ (and beyond!)
- Mix CDs (it’s a perk!)
- Taxes & fees & etc.
Realistically, the $2000 goal only just about covers the cost of printing. We cannot pay our writers. We cannot pay our photographers or our designers. It doesn’t pay for flyers or promotion needs. It doesn’t cover the cost of our website. We aren’t even throwing a pizza party. All of this is a passionate “goodness-of-our-hearts” work for the community. If we were to pay everyone fairly, we’ve estimated the true value of our work to be way more than $5000! But that is for another time, which can only happen with your help now!
Because you are so generous to contribute to our cause, we have a nice set of rewards depending on your donation level.
What We’ll Achieve
We are not your stereotyped, lazy twenty-somethings! In the short time that our website was focal point of this project we:
Developed a strong following of regular readers
Established a positive name and brand that has content contacting us
Set a high standard for both quality writing and easily accessible content
None of that will be changing with the magazine! And, being more than just passive observers and journalists, we are members of the communities we discuss, hosting events and participating in them. From organizing music performances to reading poetry at open-mic nights, we feed the creative community as much as we write about it! In turn, we’ve seen this forge strong relationships between people and create a more meaningful life as both writers and artists.
As a contributor, by supporting our project, you are allowing us to put the community back in the people’s hands. No longer just a website or a passing press clip online, Lamplighter can now be passed from person to person, helping the most vital aspects of the community grow.
How To Help Us!
Regardless of whether or not you can contribute to our cause monetarily, you can always support us in other ways by spreading the word! Forward this campaign page to your friends and family. Post our project on Facebook and tell people why you think its important, or tweet about us. Anything to help build the discussion and have people notice our mission!
You can always like us on Facebook by going to http://Facebook.com/LamplighterNJ
or tweet with us by going to http://Twitter.com/LamplighterNJ
Of course, if you have a lot to say, send us an e-mail: info@LamplighterNJ.com
And don’t forget to visit the IndieGoGo page: http://Indiegogo.com/LamplighterNJ