what we know: an update from the Art Matters campaign

by Kristin Norton November 12, 2015

Dear Ruminate readers, I remember when I first interviewed as an intern for Ruminate back in May of 2014. My stomach churned on the car ride over because all I could think about was what an editor-in-chief was like. I pictured them to be cut-throat, shark-like business people, like Sandra Bullock’s character in The Proposal. I arrived early and peered into the clear glass door at the back of the white barn, which is the current office of Ruminate. Dolores, the gray barn cat, stared at me from the other side of the glass, meowing. I remember being comforted because after years of horseback riding in my youth, I was calmed by the smell of a wood barn and by the appearance of barn cats. Brianna let me in with a huge smile on her face, dressed in jeans, and my image of the terrifying editor-in-chief shattered. We sat and talked about why I wanted to intern at Ruminate. “I like how you combine art and faith.” I said. “It feels very welcoming.” This was the biggest draw for me about the internship. I grew up Catholic, was confirmed Lutheran, and went to church every so often, but for some reason I didn’t feel a connection, I never felt like I belonged anywhere. After reading Ruminate and surrounding myself in that rustic, welcoming barn atmosphere, I couldn’t help but feel like God was there. Ruminate became a kind of church for me, my place of reflection and prayer. I felt close to God in the barn, and no one needed to tell me how to do God’s work. I found myself doing it. I began loving strangers I didn’t know, because they poured their hearts into their writing and their art. After my internship interview, Brianna hired me on the spot. I was ecstatic. I wasn’t getting paid, but I couldn’t be more excited, because, as a creative writing student, I was working in my field of study. In the fall of my senior year, Brianna asked me to be the project manager for Ruminate, meaning I would be getting paid a small stipend to help out with the magazine even more. I quit my job at Target (thank goodness!) and dedicated more time to Ruminate; it was worth it. Not only did I become closer to God, I became closer to the arts, because that’s what Ruminate is to me. It’s blending faith and art together, two things that aren’t often combined in today’s society. And here I am after graduating college. I’m still working here. And the reason I work for Ruminate, instead of volunteer for another literary magazine, is because they expect this work to be valued by the world--they expect my work to be valued, and one day I hope to work for them as a fully salaried employee with benefits. As many of you know, our staff here just hosted a campaign to help save Ruminate and to help us raise the funds we need to continue. We raised $40,000 in 10 days from over 500 donations and over 70 new subscriptions. This is insane! Thank you so much for your encouragement and support. Like most of life, we didn’t receive a black and white confirmation from the campaign (we haven’t met our goal yet, but we certainly didn’t hear crickets either.) We don’t have everything figured out, but we do know some things:
  • While we didn't quite reach our goal, your support and encouragement has decided it--Ruminate will continue!
  • Our goal is still to hire three full-time staff members, but for now we are excited to announce our official hiring of three part-time staff members: Brianna Van Dyke, Keira Havens, and Kristin Norton (that’s me!)
  • Together with our staff and board, we’ll be creating a strategy for Ruminate’s future.
  • We want to raise $60,000 by the year’s end, which means you will have a chance to contribute to the campaign by purchasing a gift subscription during our annual Christmas Subscription Drive and make a year-end contribution to help us hit our goal.
  • Because of the response we received from our amazing community, we feel supported enough to take another leap of faith and to continue making Ruminate happen. But to be clear, this is a still a tenuous existence. We will continue to report back to you all with updates and needs and accomplishments.
Personally, I want to say thank you for helping support the magazine, because losing this place would be devastating for not just me, but also those strangers—the writers, artists, and readers of Ruminate—whom I had begun to love. Thank you for caring about this community, and thank you for making my job 100 times more rewarding. Gratefully, Kristin

Kristin Norton
Kristin Norton


Kristin Norton is a Chicago native who moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, to attend Colorado State University. She received a bachelor’s degree in creative writing with a business minor. She began interning for Ruminate in the summer of 2014 and loved it so much that she now works as Ruminate’s managing editor. Kristin lives happily with her fiancé in a small apartment in Old Town, Fort Collins.

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