Editor's Letter

It's been three months since THINGS went on hiatus. During those three months, I have written and re-written this editor's letter hundreds of times.

MASSLEAP cofounder Amanda Torres says, "Starting an organization is a labor of love."
Starting THINGS was a labor of love. In the winter of 2014, I believed that THINGS could help teens and young artists believe in Boston being a city of creatives. I spent all of my free time building this platform because I truly believed it was needed. Three years later, I can say that I was a bit naïve in believing the entire Boston art scene depended on this, but what fifteen year old isn’t a bit naïve? I don’t know how great our contribution was to Boston’s art scene, but I do know that we were able to publish artists –digitally and in print, create a community, and make Boston known as a home for the arts to those outside of the city. This pursuit was a labor of love.

THINGS began in the winter of 2014: my sophomore year of high school. THINGS, school, and my mental health constantly competed for my attention for the past three years. Even during this year, my senior year, I had little to no time to devote my full attention to this platform. Issue 007 caused me so much anxiety that I named it the “unofficial official last issue” to give myself the space to breathe. I’m happy that I will graduate the week this is published but it also sucks that I had to wait for high school to end to finally have the time, energy, and mental capacity to work on THINGS fully.
Amanda Torres also points out that when you fail as an organization, you don’t just let yourself down but you also let down everyone in your community. This is a weight I felt often; the idea of letting down even three people I know actively come to events and read the site makes me feel horrible. I think creating THINGS as a publication that was careful not to focus on me or anyone who actually ran it – in attempt to keep the focus completely on content – I took away my ability to say “hey, I’m going through it right now and I feel way to depressed or busy or overwhelmed to work on the magazine.” In this time period of creating a sort of façade that everything was functioning at 100%, THINGS sort of lost sight of its goals.

THINGS was created in a vastly different time.  In every draft of this letter, this is the hardest part to word. The world of 2014 is nothing like the world of 2017. Every aspect has changed. On a personal level, I know a lot more than I did in 2014. Vocabulary like: ableism, lesbian feminism, non-binary (and so, so, so much more) are all terms I’ve learned recently. I hadn’t read Audre Lorde until I took sociology this year; I learned about Ava DuVernay and the black film canon from a podcast. The concept of self-care had never even entered my mind. My point is: I know a lot more about how I want to exist and want THINGS to exist in our current climate. I’ve had the privilege to access so much amazing knowledge in past few months alone, and I want to funnel it into making THINGS a platform that is doing something. I don't want THINGS to sit idle and indifferent when action is needed. We are a media platform, even if we are small. We are local and we are a community, a coalition, a collective.

On a different note, I’m happy that THINGS still exists. I’m excited by the expansion of Boston arts in every medium and I want to do what we can to be a part of it.  THINGS is always growing and changing; I hope everyone will continue to grow with us as we endlessly try to become our best selves.

text + visual: sienna kwami
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