By Ahriana Platten, board president, Sixty35 Media
It was December of 2000 when I moved to the Pikes Peak region. As an entrepreneur, I’d written a few feature columns on topics like travel destinations and cause-related events for the San Antonio Current, and one of the first things I looked for when I arrived here was its equivalent — an alternative to mainstream, right-leaning news. I believed, if I could find that paper, I’d find “my people” — and I was right. I started reading the Indy almost instantly, and for all these years (22 of its nearly 30), I’ve gone out of my way to find it every week. Considering out-of-town vacations and the occasional ice storms that kept me from the closest distribution rack, that means I’ve read about 1,100 issues.
The Indy has informed my political decisions, directed my entertainment choices, introduced me to people making a difference, and inspired me to build bridges. It made an interfaith activist out of a spiritual explorer, allowing me to write again, this time about religious diversity and collaboration between faiths. The Indy has been foundational to the life I’ve lived since I arrived in Colorado Springs — and now it’s changing.
For months, I’ve been trying to figure out how to talk about the shift we’re making in a way that would help others understand, and the fact is, I find myself grieving the change. To bring about something new, something old must be released. In some ways, I feel like I’m losing an old friend. Maybe you’re feeling something similar. What was familiar and comfortable is going away and something new is emerging in its place.
When my last child graduated from high school, I grieved. No more little ones to nurture and care for. No more flipping the light switch to get a snuggly kid out of bed in the morning, or buying fast food on the way home for a starving teenager. Today, that young person is a senior in college and, while I miss the early years and all the laughter and hugs, I must admit I marvel as I watch this young adult grow in depth and purpose.
I’m feeling something similar about the change we’re making. I can’t help but marvel at what we’re becoming.
The Indy is joining hands with the Colorado Springs Business Journal, the Southeast Express, the Pikes Peak Bulletin and our other well-loved company publications to bring all their news, opinion, and arts and entertainment information into a single-source publication called Sixty35 magazine. Leading with a “digital first” mindset, Sixty35 will be available across the city and find its way to you through new mediums. It will have a more visible presence, expanding into podcasts and video features, taking short “happening-now” news stories to social media and keeping you informed even better than before. You’ll find it online, in your inbox — and mailed to your home — and you’ll be able to pick up the print publication (still free) in mid-January at the Indy’s most popular news-rack locations.
Inside its pages you’ll find everything that you’ve come to rely on the Indy for — and more — political news, arts and entertainment, stories from voices that might otherwise go unheard, military news and perspectives, business news, and features on different parts of our city so we can really understand its diversity and unique flavor.
Just like the Indy, Sixty35 will connect you to “your people” and a meaningful way of living. Operating as Citizen-Powered Media, a nonprofit organization, and doing business as Sixty35 Media, its purpose is:
• to provide a more active voice for everyday citizens and increase the diversity of well-communicated perspectives on a broad range of community issues;
• to ensure public access to a balance of information on issues for which one perspective has historically had more leverage to influence opinion;
• to provide fair, accurate, fact-based news coverage and analysis;
• to assist citizen groups, other nonprofit organizations, communities and grassroots organizations in educating the public about important social and environmental issues;
• to serve groups that cannot otherwise afford significant expenditures on advertising, media relations, lobbyists, and other consultants and spokespersons; and
• to produce and distribute news products — in print, online and through events.
Sixty35 magazine — and Sixty35 Media overall — will expand its commitment to lift up marginalized voices, speak truth to power, and engage the Pikes Peak region in taking actions that make us more inclusive, more informed and better connected.
But before we get to that, it’s important to honor the past — to honor the important role the Indy — and all the other Colorado Publishing House publications — have played in our lives. It’s important to acknowledge our grief, which is founded in the powerful impact the Indy has had, not just on our city, but on the people who live here — people like you and me. For nearly 30 years, the Indy has been the most purpose-driven, community-engaged source of connection, interaction and change Colorado Springs has ever seen. I’ll miss my Indy just like I miss the wild-eyed, teenager I parented through the first date and the first driving lesson. Nothing will replace those early memories, and frankly, Sixty35 magazine is not meant to replace the Indy. Nothing could. Instead, Sixty35 brings us into a new era — an era in which the unique blend of news, opinion, arts and information you’ve come to rely on is more readily available and our citywide connections are deeper and more expansive. In today’s world, we need each other, and Sixty35 magazine is here to make sure we can find each other, work together, create a city we love living in, and have some fun along the way.
I’m very excited about the future!
Dr. Ahriana Platten
Dba Sixty35 Media