By Mike Rosso
Music and art lovers of the Upper Arkansas Valley will be glad to hear about a new arts and music website launched in August 2016. Ark Magazine is the brainchild of Jamie Wolkenbreit, who saw a need for a central outlet to find out about events, art shows and musical happenings in the region.
After moving to Chaffee County with his family in 2015, Wolkenbreit began asking friends where he might find resources for event listings. Realizing others had the same questions, he decided to create an online magazine specifically to promote and support the arts in Leadville, Buena Vista and Salida.
“I’d love for the communities of Salida, Leadville and BV to experience more of a kinship, cultural interaction and shared identity … we’ve got a wonderful opportunity to steer our growth into a fun and prosperous place,” he said.
The Vertex Music Festival in Buena Vista was the impetus to launch the website, www.arkmagazine.net, last summer, despite the fact they were not offered press passes by the promoters. He found inspiration in the arts and music organizations of the area such as the Salida Council for the Arts, KHEN radio, The Lariat, The Watershed, the Leadville Arts Coalition and others, “that bring out our creativity, and appreciation of our community. They feed us so we grow strong. I’m hoping to have the go-to meeting place daily online and weekly in print that joins the cultural forces in the entire valley together for many conversations and gives our visitors a front row seat to our shows,” he explains.
Getting venues and galleries to submit their events for listing can be challenging, but Ark Magazine is up to the challenge. “We chase it all down so you don’t have to! And you get the storylines behind a lot of it, as well as the voices and video,” he added. He hopes to launch a weekly print version of the magazine in the spring of 2017.