The most recent issue of ELIXHER Magazine came together thanks to a stellar team of graphic designers, writers, photographers, and editors. We are able to compensate these talented individuals (who are all working at a discounted rate because they are committed to this work) primarily through the revenue we make at events, which operate as fundraisers and are funneled back into maintaining the website and magazine (crowdfunding, advertising, and sales have not been adequate sources of revenue). We’ve had to use events as a business model to step away from typical models that have worked for white and straight publications (i.e., ads and subscriptions). It’s how we keep our independent baby publication that cost thousands (you read right, thousands) of dollars to produce going. Due to the cost of producing events, we limit the number of complimentary tickets to folks volunteering for the event, people who have let us use their “celebrity” without charge, or offered writing/photographer services at no cost. It’s not a perfect model but so far it has worked for us while we explore other ways to manage the production costs and ultimately fully compensate our entire team.
We’ve certainly learned the importance of being more publicly transparent about our financial restraints. The challenge sustaining a community resource of quality is that $15-30 tickets are costly for many queer people of color; the cost of the magazine can also be pricey. That is why we will continue to offer free content on our website and explore ticketing options such as a sliding scale, so that more people can access our content, products, and events. We will also continue to create free platforms to engage with our readers like our weekly #ELIXHERTalk on Twitter and support other Black queer entrepreneurs.
We hope that you will attend our issue release party this Friday, May 30 at Galapagos Art Space because it keeps us going and growing. We can’t be better at what we do if we’re not around.
We’re always open to constructive feedback from community members. You can email us firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions about how we can continue to be a resource and a force for Black queer women. We thank our readers, contributors, and funders for their ongoing support.
Onward and upward,