We Have an Issue: Celebrating (Very Quietly) 39 Years in Print

This anniversary issue passes with not much fanfare, but a lot of gratitude

Cover by Craig Staggs / Minnow Mountain

This week, the paper turns 39. We're not marking the anniversary with any fanfare. It's just a regular old issue, cram-jammed with interesting stories – stuff to make you think, stuff to make you feel less alone, stuff to stave off the monotony of pandemic living.

I imagine we all have moments from the Before Times we return to now. Me, I've thought often of a party the Chronicle held in late January at Still Austin to celebrate the launch of our print redesign. Giving an off-the-cuff speech, I surprised myself by getting a little teary and rather grandly calling what I do at the Chronicle "my life's work." It's not that I didn't mean it; it's that I'd never truly articulated it out loud, to myself or to a room full of people, many of them my dear colleagues. This job has given me a purpose, and in these frankly shitty times, that feeling of purpose has been a gift. I think my co-workers feel the same way.

So thank you – readers, advertisers, staff and contributors past and present, anybody and everybody who's supported us, donated to us, reached out and asked how they can help keep the Chronicle going, or just taken the time to tell us the work we do matters. You have our gratitude.

Thanks also go to everyone who tuned in to Sunday's livestream Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival and/or donated to our friends at the Central Texas Food Bank. We raised over $12,000 for the Central Texas Food Bank this year – that's 51,000 meals for Central Texas families in need this year, and over 1 million meals provided in the 30-year history of the festival.

A lot of hands went into turning this largely analog annual event into an all-digital celebration, but most especially, credit goes to Associate Publisher Cassidy Frazier; Events & Promotions Manager Karena Rogers; Client & Public Relations Manager Emily Burns; Food Editor Jessi Cape; Director of Digital Strategy Mike Bartnett; Multimedia Manager Tamar Price; Special Events Coordinator Dan Hardick; Production Manager Zeke Barbaro; staff photographer and Editor John Anderson; Accounting Assistant Chelsea Taylor; Operations Manager Trace Thurman; Office Manager Carrie Young; Zach Pearce, still manning our (virtual) info desk; and everyone else on staff who pitched in – and of course the performers, guest judges, demo presenters, and other talent who took part. If you missed the show, you can catch up with it at www.fb.com/chronevents, and Hot Sauce Fest T-shirts, bandannas, and other merch are still available while supplies last at austinchronicle.com/store.

Online This Week

Gender Unbound

Gender Unbound, and in Cyberspace: Lilli Hime previews the monthlong virtual offerings of Austin's one and only fest celebrating trans, nonbinary, and intersex artists.

Dinner and a Movie: Food Editor Jessi Cape interviews the Bao'd Up co-founders about the bao meal kit they conceived to go along with Disney's new live-action Mulan.

"Sincerely" Dropping Sept. 4: Retired NFL star-turned-Austin-based musicmaker Joe Barksdale talks up his new album, streaming in full on Friday.

Simply the Best: Congrats to Art Director Jason Stout and staff writer Kevin Curtin, whose 2019 "Austin Music Yearbook" feature (Music, Aug. 30) has been nominated for an AAN Award for Innovation.

I Luv Video Closes: Shutting up shop, the iconic video store seeks a buyer for its unique archive.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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