Publishing The Dirt in Davis

For the past few months—since October, actually—I’ve been working really hard on something: As I announced back then, I took over a small, local newspaper/events calendar, then called The Davis Dirt. It was started ten years ago by four women and the two who were still publishing it were looking for someone to buy it and take it over. Since then, I have been trying to figure out how to make it feel like essential Davis reading. It already featured all of the arts and culture events in town, but I have started adding articles, and working on a rebranding and new website—for The Dirt.

I’m so excited (and relieved) to say that it’s finally rolling out.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen some of these pictures. I worked with a local design team—Scribe—who did a wonderful job of taking all of my moodboards and tear sheets and translating them into real pages. Alli was patient as I was finishing the content up to the 11th hour. And when I came up with idea to photograph cakes (a wink to our local icon, Wayne Thiebaud, whom I used to see in the halls as an art minor at UCD), but was struggling to get the lighting just right, Patrick even rushed over to help! I’m a little anxious to do any of it without them. There’s also a new website that’s come together in record time. The developer is still working on it with me—we needed it up with the print but couldn’t get all of the content in until the print was laid out, so there are some kinks—but it’s nearly there! You can get a sense of some of the transition on social, too.

It’s been a crazy month of learning as I go. (If anyone works in magazine or newspaper production, I could still use lots of advice—especially when it comes to getting help.) But I’m so happy with how it has turned out. Everything, from the cover image to the articles to—and especially—the focus on local engagement, feels personal. It’s also been really consuming: Aron and the kids were patient withe me in the evenings as I’d run back to the computer after dinner, and so it’s personal in that way, too. My biggest credit goes to them—for letting me dash off, for helping deliver papers, and even for eating leftover cake. So while I know this is news that only relates to us and to our town, I wanted to share the news here, too. It’s important to me and I’ve appreciated every nice comment friends have made online or in person so much. Thank you!

Here are some more photos…

Thank you again for all the kind words of encouragement over the past few months! I really have appreciated it!

P.S. My guide to Davis and A day in Sacramento.


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