On The Resurgence of VIM, Poetry In Las Vegas, and The Pursuit For Happiness
Three months before the print launch of VIM Magazine, Editor in Chief Jorge Lara shares a short q and a session on the constant evolving cycle of VIM, poetry in Las Vegas, and the pursuit of happiness.
1. On The Resurgence of VIM Magazine
During high school I would work weekends in my senior year at Mickey D's and the small money I would collect would go toward buying cassettes and later cd's of bands I loved, small gifts for my family, and my monthly pick of magazines that I remember fondly. I would get copies of Alternative Press, Interview Magazine, Ray Gun, and this monthly magazine that use to have a cd of the latest new indie bands. I would play that cd during lunch in high school since I was given the opportunity to "DJ" during both lunch periods.
I consider magazines to be an art form. A collective tissue of art and ideas that combine the rock and roll spirit of the mind and soul and the liberating freedom that comes in creating what your heart truly envisions.
You have only the mind to explore and to wander in, an infinite array of beauty at your fingertips and a community and world of art to be the focal point. Las Vegas in all its truest essence is a constant revival of art and artists in a cycle that gives birth to new wonders every day. I love that many of my friends are poets, dancers, artists, musicians, actors, fashionistas.
It's been a privilege to be able to document and interview and photograph some of the most talented people here in Las Vegas. And to have some of the most beautiful souls help me with the magazine along the way. In past incarnations of the magazine I've had some wonderful photographers helping me chronicle each interview with their own artistic vision. Most recently in 2014, Las Vegas resident and photographer and artist Shannon Dorn helped with some beautiful portraits of the artists.
Previous to that I had an editorial board, a fashion editor, a culture editor, and an entertainment editor and each one of them had an assistant and my managing editor would help me in coordinating the interviews for the website, looking at photography and what worked and what didn't.
It all culminated with a magazine relaunch party that took place at the Beauty Bar with the gracious assistance and help of Noel Calizo of Indie Krush fame. Together with Milu Angelique (of We Are Pancakes) our Fashion Editor and musician in residence we assembled a great group of bands to perform for the relaunch party. Seven bands total. It was an exhilarating and memorable night and certainly a highlight of my time in Las Vegas. The bands, they were exceptional and inspiring, Ang Kerfoot, Monica Sterling, Stolas, The All-Togethers, Menores, My First Rodeo, Habit. It is every fan's dream to be able to assemble all their favorite bands on one stage and I was granted that opportunity, it was wonderful.
After the last incarnation of the magazine I took a year off to focus on the nonprofit poetry organization that I helped found. Within that year we had established some great partnerships with the community.
Now it's 2016 and the question I was asked the most about the magazine throughout the years was: When are you going to print? To launch a printed magazine in 2016 is a huge endeavor but its something that has been on my mind since my youth. I always wanted to be an editor of a magazine, it's what I always envision and it feels like I have always been waiting for just the right time. Well you truly make the right time yourself. You have to live in the moment and create what you can while you can. I've put stuff off for too long and there is no looking back once you started.
Paper VIM, Vim in print form, a physical magazine that people will be able to get in their hands will be a reality this fall in October.
I've had the great honor to assemble a fantastic group of contributors that will be lending their talents to the magazine in the form of stories and articles. Sarah Jane Woodall, Ed Fuentes, CoCo Jenkins, and Heather Lang. Along with the articles there will also be the interviews people have come to love. And yes I already have a coverstar in mind for the magazine. They are an exceptional group of artists, that's all I can say and I am looking forward to interviewing them.
Although there might be several covers to celebrate the inaugural issue.
Currently working on creating a launch party event for October 2016. If anyone is interested shoot me a line.
I am looking forward to seeing what we can create in the months in weeks ahead. We'll be spotlighting the contributors in unique ways and we will also be featuring some local and international fashion photography.
I love the work that Michael Martin Humel has done with his magazine, 'Culture of The Senses.' He was a great entertainment editor for VIM and has been doing an exceptional job covering the local music scene. I am also looking forward to seeing Artist.Vault magazine with Geneva E. Marquez as they prepare for their launch. Catherine Treu of Fashion Feed LV who we have interviewed in the past has also done a wonderful job chronicling fashion with their magazine.
Nevada and Las Vegas needs premium art and fashion magazines, other big cities have a magazine where art forms the frame of the whole issue. So why not? Let us see what we can envision and bring out to the world.
2. Poetry In Las Vegas and The Las Vegas Poets Organization
It has been a great year so far for The Las Vegas Poets Organization. Working with a wonderful diverse group of individuals on the Executive Board has made organizing and planning for the poetry community a much richer experience. The Las Vegas Poets Organization started with a new Executive Board in September of 2015, since then there have been a couple of changes within the board, overall our new president, Rachel Dexter has led the board and has given way to newer and brighter ideas. It has always been our mission to expand our scope and the best way to do it is to find individuals who are willing to take the initiative to create precedence and work to give back to the community that has given us so much.
Along with President Rachel Dexter we have our Vice-President Kari O'Connor, who is an institution herself in the poetry community. Her experience and business acumen is bar-none and she has been a tremendous help assisting us with decisions that concern not only the slam community but the poetry community at large. Her history within the Las Vegas scene and her work with other poetry entities such as Helen Magazine has been an ideal source of vital information. She represents the community proud and takes pride in all the work she does.
Recently joining us has been our new Secretary Heather Lang, who has quite a past resume of achievements. Her work and contributions are a welcome addition as she coordinates our new calendar that we will be unveiling on the official website of the organization. Everyone will be able to benefit from this calendar as it will feature all the latest poetry hotspots, open mic venues, and information for locals and travelers to use as they plan a trip to a poetry venue in the Las Vegas and surrounding areas. Heather Lang's work with Nevada State College and Petite Hound Press is only one part of the work she does with the community as she expands her own horizons working diligently around the clock. I am happy to have Heather Lang also be one of the new contributors to VIM Magazine in the fall and looking forward to the stories she will tell.
In addition we have added two wonderful individuals, Marquis Ealy and Chalese Potts. Marquis Ealy is a wonderful poet who this year has shown the strength of his might on the mic at Battleborn Slam. He will be representing Nevada at the National Poetry Slam this August. Marquis has a wonderful video series where he interviews poets and lets them read from their work and I am looking forward to the contributions and feedback he will offer as a board member.
Chalese Potts is a ray of inspiration and good will. I think we all have loved her enthusiasm for working with the Executive Board and she has already shown her commitment volunteering her time and giving us wonderful feedback as we begin our work with our new partnerships this fall. She has shown that she has a true knack for leadership and I love how she is willing to give back to help others. Along with her work with the organization, she is an extremely talented performance poet and she runs the A & C Vibes Spoken Word open mic alongside Ashley M. Vargas.
This fall we begin our new partnership with the Clark County Library District in October 2016 as we unveil our new workshop and poetry feature series. This will also be our fifth year presenting poetry at the Vegas Valley Book Festival thanks to our partnership with Nevada Humanities and Bobbie Ann Howell.
We are already making preparations for the fall and I am looking forward as we lay the groundwork for the poetry community for the next ten years. Our long term plans are to create a poetry festival and bring a national poetry slam event to Southern Nevada.
Along with my work with the poetry organization I have been privileged and honored to work alongside Angela Brommel and the other poet laureate representatives as we assist Clark County Poet Laureate Bruce Isaacson as he works diligently to bring new poetry initiatives and national attention to the art of poetry in Clark County. Bruce Isaacson has made incredible strides bringing in national poetry talent to Las Vegas and working with Clark County Parks and Recreation and Patrick John Gaffey and what has been a giant leap forward for the art of poetry in our community. Next poet to showcase in Las Vegas and Henderson will be Patricia Smith on August 27. (www.lasvegaspoets.org)
3. The Pursuit of Happiness
Despite my extravagances, I'm just a down to earth guy. A man who has lived his life looking to create and to add to the beauty and the wonder that is found in this world. Who looks to the people in his life as his muses, who he learns from and who inspire him to become something more than what he is.
I've been privileged enough to create something in my lifetime that has become bigger than myself, something that now belongs to the community, something that has always belong to the community of people that work diligently to express themselves, their ideals, their heart and spirit. The poetry organization is a thing that this community has always needed and someone had to take the risk and put it out there so that others could benefit from it. I've always believed in sharing the wealth and the resources that come from igniting the heart and mind to create what we can muster into existence.
I live to dream and to share that dream has been a delight that I could not exchange for anything. I am thankful for everyone that has come in and out of my life throughout the years, it has led me to the person I have become. A little rough around the edges but still the person who is willing to carry his heart on his sleeve and with a mission to bring change to the world.
Let us see what we can create in the years ahead. I look forward to evolving and collaborating with new people, and exploring the possibilities of a mind that has yet to evolve through future moments of enlightenment. We will wonder and wonder more throughout our time on this earth and we will love every minute, second of it.
Here's to you who keeps inspiring me.