Living on a low income takes perseverance, ingenuity and determination just to keep a roof overhead and food in the cupboard. There usually isn’t enough time, money or energy left to follow up on creative ideas and projects.
The River Magazine gives people living on a low income a publication to showcase their writing, art and ideas.
The River Magazine is a volunteer run project guided by a committee of individuals committed to making a quality publication and to paying contributors for their submissions. Imagine someone living on a low income being PAID for their creative work!
As everyone on a low income knows – every little bit helps.
The Longer “About” Story
The River Magazine is a community-based arts publication that provides a platform for creative expression for those living in poverty or on a low income in the City of Peterborough. Issue One of The River, released in December 2017, was funded by local organizations and is supported by the Peterborough Social Planning Council, a registered charitable organization. Issue One contains the contributions of over 40 people, and includes photography, poetry and visual art. Each contributor is provided with a $40 honorarium, while the cover page artist was given $80. 1000 copies of Issue One were distributed to supporting social service establishments as well as coffee shops, university spaces and other public spaces in Peterborough. The 1000 copies of the first issue were quickly absorbed by the community and we wish we had printed more. The first issue also received significant media interest with articles in local newspapers and coverage on local and national television and radio. We are already receiving submissions for a second issue which we wish to publish in the spring of 2018.
The City of Peterborough has a large population of low income citizens. Whether they find themselves economically disadvantaged due to marginalization, illness or poor compensation for their labour, they contribute to Peterborough’s culture and economy in diverse and important ways. They perform essential work, they sustain its markets, and constitute an important part of its social life. It is this demographic that The River gives voice to.
As a group, this population is not well represented in local or traditional media, nor are their interests well reflected in social and political arenas. In truth, there are few ways in which low-income citizens can comment on issues that affect them and the community in a meaningful way or express themselves creatively. The River Magazine is a medium for artistic and social expression that can have a significant effect on a sense of belonging to the community, provide a new source of meaningful work, as well as highlight key issues facing Peterborough’s low-income population.
The River has received submissions from a wide variety of people, many of them young. Contributing to The River is not only an opportunity for youth to be empowered by sharing their life experiences, but also an opportunity to build confidence, a sense of purpose, and develop their creative capacities.
The River’s ultimate goal is to produce two to four issues yearly. Call-outs for issue two began February 1st. The deadline is April 15th. In 2018 the editorial committee has decided to publish two issues, one with a distribution date in May, and the second in December. Currently, we are working to acquire other funding from supporting organizations, both those who supported Issue One, and from new partnerships that have emerged from its success.
Supporting partners include: Brain Injury Association of Peterborough, Canadian Mental Health Association, CCRC, One Roof Diner, New Canadians Centre, Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre, PARN, Peterborough Social Planning Council, VON 360 Clinic, Trent Community Research Centre and Cameron House. Support from the United Way to produce the next two issues will open doors to new sources of funding, like the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.