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Volume 26, Number 5 — May 2019

About A!

About A! Magazine

A! Magazine for the Arts is a publication of Arts Alliance Mountain Empire. The award-winning magazine is the recipient of the Tennessee Governor's 2003 Award for Arts Leadership, a 2007 Pinnacle tourism award for the print edition and the e-mail digest, and three awards in 2009 from the Society of Professional Journalists, Tri-Cities Chapter.

A! Magazine Committee
• Volunteer Co-Chairs: Gloria Oster (423) 646-3024 and Ben Jennings (276)628-5960
• Reserve ad space in A! Magazine:
• Writer/Art Director Leslie Grace (423) 383-4495 •
(receives press releases, photos, and advertising artwork)
• Volunteer Circulation Manager
Bruce Mathews, (276) 623-2144 •
(distribution sites in NE Tennessee & SW Virginia)
• Other Committee Members: Debra Brown,Paul Conco, T J De Witt, Sarah Ernst, Sue Fulmer, Bonny Gable, Linda Garnett, Ann Holler, Ann Mathews, Bruce Mathews, Ann McAllister and Jamie Smyth.

A! Magazine for the Arts Distribution

A! Magazine for the Arts is printed and distributed through the generous donation of Bristol Herald Courier. The magazine may be found monthly in many Tri-Cities subscription copies of the newspaper and at locations throughout Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. If you would like to suggest additional locations, call (276) 628-3719 or email Carl Clarke.

In addition, you may pick up your complimentary copy of A! Magazine for the Arts at these locations:

128 Pecan Street Restaurant
A Likely Yarn
Abingdon Cinemall
Abingdon Convention & Visitors Bureau
Abingdon Mercantile & Frame Gallery
Abingdon Olive Oil Company
Abingdon Senior Center
Arts Depot
Barr Photographics
Barter Theatre & Barter Café / Stage II
Dunk'N Deli
Ellis Soda Shoppe
Falls Plaza (lobby)
Figeredo's Restaurant
Heartwood Artisan Center
Highlands Ballet
Holston Mountain Artisans
Katbird's Wines of Distinction
Martha Washington Hotel & Spa
Michael's Pharmacy
Peppermill Restaurant
Plastic Surgery Specialists
Rain Restaurant
Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center
The Tavern
Virginia Highlands Community College
Washington County Chamber of Commerce
Washington County Library (all branches)
Whole Health
Wild Flour Bakery
William King Museum
Zazzy'z Coffee Shop

Northeast State College Library

606 State Street Gallery
Ballet Arts Academy
Ben Walls Gallery
blowfish emporium
Bristol Ballet
Bristol Chamber of Commerce
Bristol Herald Courier (lobby)
Bristol Public Library (and Avoca branch)
Bristol Regional Medical Center
Brooklyn Grill
Carl Jessee Frame Shop
Dr. Joseph Crum
First Presbyterian Church
Kil'n Time Ceramics Shop
King University
Machiavelli's Restaurant
Mountain Aire Music
Mountain Music Museum
One of a Kind Gallery
Paramount Center for the Arts
Pardner's Restaurant
Premier Printing
SBS Services
Seasons (physicians office)
Sessions 27 Music
Simply Delicious (restaurant)
Sundog Outfitters
Theatre Bristol
Tri-Discount Cleaners
United Way of Bristol
YWCA Bristol

Chilhowie Tourist Center
Riverfront Restaurant
Tuscan Restaurant

Damascus Old Mill Restaurant
In the Country Restaurant

Emory & Henry College
(6 campus locations)
Macados' Restaurant

Natural History Museum, Gray Fossil Site

James-Ben: Studio & Gallery Art Center
Niswonger Performing Arts Center

Appalachian School of Law
Appalachian School of Pharmacy
Golden Palette Gallery

Acoustic Coffeehouse
Bang Hair Salon
Blue Moon Dinner Theatre
Carnegie Hotel
Down Home
Dr. John Crockett's office
ETSU (13 locations)
Frame Gallery
Gourmet & Co. (restaurant)
Hands On! Regional Museum
Harold Dishner Agency
Johnson City Area Arts Council
(Johnson City — continued)
Johnson City Chamber of Commerce
Johnson City Public Library
Mid City Grill
Milligan College
Mr. K's Used Books
Nelson Fine Art & Custom Framing
Sycamore Shoals State Park

Jonesborough Visitors Center

Acupuncture Associates
Carter Chiropractic
Central Barber Shop
Cindy Saadeh Fine Art Gallery
Downtown Kpt. Assn. Gallery
Dr. Tibault's office
Doctors Carver, Stakias
Encounter Dress Shop
Hibbert-Davis Coffee Gallery
Kingsport Chamber of Commerce
Kingsport Higher Education Center
Kingsport Public Library
Kingsport Renaissance Center
Lost Writer's Guild
Madagascar Coffee Company
MeadowView Marriott Conference Center
Newcomer Welcome Services
RCAT (NE State College satellite)
Star Trails Gallery
Studio Gallery
Style Custom Framing & Gifts
Suzanne Justice Studio & Gallery
Up Against the Wall Gallery


Appalachian Spirit Gallery
Framing Unlimited
Gen. Francis Marion Hotel
Handsome Molly's Restaurant
Lincoln Theatre
Macado's Restaurant
Simple Life Antiques
Smyth-Bland Regional Library
Smyth County Chamber of Commerce

The Harvest Table (restaurant)

Rose Center

Pardner's Restaurant


Appalachian Arts Center
Southwest Virginia Community College

Crab Orchard Museum & Pioneer Park
Tazewell Public Library

Lonesome Pine Regional Library
University of Virginia College at Wise (Library)

The History of A! Magazine for the Arts

The first issue of A! Magazine for the Arts was published in November 1994, following several months of discussion among various members of the arts community. Art Powers, then publisher of the Bristol Herald Courier, originally convened the group to investigate the feasibility of forming an arts council. Instead of starting an arts council, the group created the monthly magazine, as a way to provide information about the arts to the region. The original committee defined the region to be served as the I-81 corridor from Bristol through Abingdon, to Emory, Virginia.

During the first few years of publication, the magazine was mailed to 7,000 targeted households. The marketing department of the Bristol Herald Courier, headed by Wallace Coffey, managed the editorial committee of volunteers and oversaw the editorial content. At some point, the newspaper management made the decision to change the method of distribution, and so the magazine was inserted into 28,000 copies of Bristol Herald Courier once a month. The editorial committee members began delivering about 2,500 copies of the magazine to certain locations around the Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia region. For a few years, the newspaper delivery managers carried about 500 copies to some of the outlying areas.

When Media General bought the newspaper, the same arrangement continued for some time. During the year 2000, Media General determined that the magazine should add antiques as a focus. The name was changed to A! Magazine for the Arts and Antiques.

From the very beginning, a committee of volunteers has performed editorial duties. These volunteers come from various areas of the arts in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. They generally do not represent particular institutions or organizations. Instead, they approach the task of producing the magazine in a manner intended to benefit the entire community, rather than serving themselves or their particular organizations. The editorial committee plans and edits the content of the magazine. The members generate story ideas, communicate with the writer (Leslie Grace), edit copy, advise on cover design and proofread copy. The committee usually has 16 or more members, who form teams of three or four persons to produce each monthly issue. A list of current committee members may be found on page 2 of each issue of A! Magazine.

In March 2003, A! Magazine for the Arts received the Tennessee Governor's Award for Arts Leadership. This award was presented by Governor Bredesen to Ann Holler, then chairperson of the Editorial Committee.

In the fall of 2003, management of the Bristol Herald Courier indicated that they wished to change the relationship of the newspaper and A! Magazine. The newspaper was willing to donate printing and distribution, if A! Magazine could be published by a non-profit organization. On October 15, 2003, Jim Hyatt, Regional Publisher for Media General, made this announcement to a group of arts representatives.

This new arrangement began January 1, 2004, for production of the February 2004 issue. Under this arrangement, Arts Alliance Mountain Empire is the owner and publisher of the magazine, which has reclaimed its original name, A! Magazine for the Arts. The editorial committee has undertaken the sale of advertising, with the assistance of its volunteer advertising director, Ann Holler. The magazine prints news from the entire Tri-Cities region, although the primary area of distribution is Washington County, Va., and Sullivan County, Tenn. Volunteers provide extra copies of the magazine to various drop-off locations around the Tri-Cities.

The May 2004 issue marked an important milestone in the history of A! Magazine, as the first issue to have 20 pages, and also the first issue to be printed on bright white paper, instead of regular newsprint.

The tenth anniversary issue of A! Magazine for the Arts was the November 2004 edition, a 28-page issue.

The first 24-page issues were October and November 2005.

In 2007, Arts Alliance Mountain Empire received a prestigious Pinnacle tourism award for A! Magazine for the winning combination of a print edition, on-line edition and e-mail digest.

In June 2012, Angela Wampler retired and a new writer/art director, Leslie Grace began. Her first issue was in July 2012.

The magazine receives sponsorship funds from the Tennessee Arts Commission.