Dear Readers: A letter from the publisher

For the next two weeks, Soapbox will go “dark” as we bid farewell to another great year and gear up for a promising 2017.

But readers shouldn’t expect complete silence during this downtime. As we forecast new content, retool our software and generally recharge our creative engines, you can enjoy IDEALAB videos featuring philanthropic and talented leaders, or listen to podcasts from our recent event at Harriet Beecher Stowe House, which featured three local historians discussing the abolitionist legacy and cultural significance of Walnut Hills.

2016 was as transformative for Soapbox as it’s been for the nation as a whole, but it merely punctuates close to a decade of growth for the publication.

Since we launched in 2008, Soapbox has enjoyed the hospitality of The Brandery in Over-the-Rhine. We will be forever proud of the part Soapbox played in the resurgence of OTR. As we expand coverage throughout the urban core, our team will also take up residency at the Xavier Center for Innovation beginning in 2017.

With regular reporting on development, innovation, profiling talent and emerging initiatives that impact our community and economic development, Soapbox also took deep dives in 2016. Notable projects included a five-part special report series chronicling Collective Impact outcomes, and we launched an ambitious embedded journalism project called On The Ground, which examines urban neighborhoods forging successful comeback through community collaboration.

We engaged our readers through events like the Food Innovation Economy at Findlay Market, Speaker Series at Niehoff Urban Studio and the aforementioned IDEALAB. Through your active readership and passionate sharing, in addition to broadcasting through the Issue Media Group network, analytics from January-December 2016 reflect Soapbox amplifying Cincinnati’s global profile to all 50 states, 148 countries and nearly 5,000 international cities.

To remain part of this exciting journey in 2017, check to be sure that your reader subscription is up-to-date and that we have a current email address on file to receive our weekly newsletter and reader-exclusive event invitations.

Soapbox and IMG appreciate the commitment from our many corporate, foundation, university, civic and nonprofit underwriters. Your loyal support ensures our non-traditional publishing work continues without gated content or a disruptive advertising environment.

In closing, I would like to recognize a passing of the torch. John Fox, who served as Soapbox managing editor since 2014, departed the publication this fall. John’s careful stewardship and editorial expertise helped shape new writers and editors and improve our approach to long-form journalism. We wish John all the best as he launches a freelance career, and we look forward to sharing more of his writing in coming editions.

Taking over the editorial helm is a co-editing team familiar to Soapbox readers: Hannah Purnell and Caitlin Koenig, who have more than a decade of combined experience writing and editing Soapbox. We are excited to support this team in expanding our work and thought leadership. Please join me in congratulating both on the shared position. Click here to learn more about Caitlin and Hannah.

On behalf of the Soapbox team, Happy New Year and we’ll see you in ’17!

Patrice Watson, Publisher
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