Apr 8, 2022 - Business

Twin Cities arts newsletter DISPATCH launches first print edition

Six stacks of newspapers with the word DISPATCH on them.
The first edition of DISPATCH. Photo courtesy of DISPATCH

The stack of free print publications at your local art museum has likely been dwindling for years. Twin Cities musician Taylor Carik wants to change that.

Driving the news: DISPATCH, a long-running local arts and culture newsletter formerly known as Secrets of the City, is launching a print edition this weekend after being inbox-only for nearly 10 years.

  • The 16-page, full-color edition covers local music shows, gallery openings, indie movie screenings and more that don't typically get featured in mainstream publications.

Why it matters: Going from online to print is a rarity in 2022.

  • The number of digital outlets has soared in the last few years, but free print publications β€” especially ones focused on the local art scene β€” have been all but extinguished in the Twin Cities.

Flashback: Secrets of the City was created as a print column in 2004, and Carik took it over in 2008. After stints in former arts magazine The Rake and MSP Magazine, it's been online since 2013.

  • "We took a break during the pandemic, and when we returned last year, so many arts publications were gone," Carik told Axios. "How do local musicians and artists get the word out now?"

How it works: Carik, who runs DISPATCH solo, has sold ads and self-funded the first few issues. He plans to print 2,000 to start, and said he isn't sure yet what it'll cost him out of pocket.

  • Carik hopes to raise capital for freelancers, staff and production later this year.
  • "Print has a very validating quality we're hoping to tap into. Like, 'Hey, this is worth print coverage, you should go to it β€” or you should be super proud of being featured in here,'" Carik told Audrey.

What's next: The April edition will be available this weekend at First Avenue, Weisman Art Museum, Can Can Wonderland, and St. Paul Brewing.

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