This New England title puts a fresh spin on the regional arts and culture magazine, and it does it with mad style.
“Undeterred” is a good word to describe Michael Kusek, founder of Take magazine in Massachusetts.
“Michael Kusek has heard it before, that only a fool would launch a magazine printed on paper. You might have better luck opening a video store,” writes Susanne Althoff in The Boston Globe.
“But Kusek is undeterred about the power of the printed page, especially when it’s used to tell the stories of artists and show examples of their work in full-color glory,” she continues.
The “artists” featured in Take might not be what you’ve come to expect. When defining art, Kusek includes a broad swath of people working in the creative industries – writers, museum workers, architects, foodies, even editors and marketers, according to Althoff.
“Kusek is highlighting something that government officials and chambers of commerce love to talk about: the creative economy. The idea is that the vast number of creative workers and businesses should be counted together and recognized for their revenue potential and ability to make communities more livable and fun,” Althoff writes.
For example, a recent issue featured a Concord, NH businessman who opened a hair-cutting business “inspired by the grand Victorian barbershops of the late 1800s,” and others who are part of what the New England Foundation for the Arts calls “the cultural workforce.”
“That includes museum employees, video-game makers, architects, musicians, sculptors, editors, even marketers,” Althoff notes.
In this new economy of small-batch, hand-crafted and artisanal everything, it makes sense that this segment is increasingly important to any region’s economy and vitality. Spotlighting the niche through a print magazine – a gorgeous print magazine, with some serious heft thanks to its heavy cover stock and thoughtful design – makes absolute sense. And the current market for niche and regional titles is favorable indeed.
Samir Husni added Take to his top 30 launches for 2015, and Kusek’s former business client Rachel Maddow helped launched the title into the public sphere with an enthusiastic endorsement. Still, like any startup, they’ve had their challenges getting the cash flowing consistently, a common problem for new niche titles. But they’ve gotten well past the critical third issue, so here’s hoping things flow freer from here on out.
The idea has great merit, and with the team Kusek’s assembled we expect them to get past the growing pains and continue to put out this unique niche title.