To Our Readers,
With this issue, Gambit celebrates 30 years of giving New Orleans an alternative voice. During those years, we've seen great changes in our city and at Gambit. We have survived hurricanes, floods, crooked politicians and hard economic times. We also have celebrated Jazz Fest, Mardi Gras, a World's Fair, a burgeoning artistic, culinary and cultural scene and, of course, a Super Bowl victory by our beloved New Orleans Saints. We've seen political reforms blossom and wilt and then blossom again, a coastline steadily disappear, and several new generations of talented musicians take their rightful place on the global music stage. We have witnessed the rebirth of several historic neighborhoods (including the creation of a new neighborhood in the Warehouse Arts District), and then rolled up our sleeves along with our readers and advertisers to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. Through the years and in the face of many challenges, one thing has remained unshakable: Like our readers, we have always believed passionately in this city. That will never change.
Although we're turning 30, we're definitely not getting old. Our dedicated writers, editors, graphic artists, sales execs, and business and administrative support staff prove every day the efficacy of our company motto: Work hard, have fun, publish smart media. Our colleagues work hard all year long to keep Gambit relevant by constantly reaching out to new audiences via Facebook, Twitter, blogs, event marketing and more — and our readers have rewarded our efforts by challenging and engaging us on many levels. And through it all, thanks to what we like to call "that Gambit spirit," our colleagues have helped us have a helluva lot of fun along the way.
How can we not have fun when our job is to cover the arts, entertainment, cultural and political scenes in New Orleans? As we see it, our job is not just to report, but also to celebrate all things uniquely New Orleans. That's why Gambit continues to sponsor the annual Big Easy Entertainment Awards, which celebrate the best in local theater and music, along with the annual Tribute to the Classical Arts honoring the best in local dance, classical music and opera.
We've written about all sorts of strange characters along the way, and even added a few of our own trademarked personae to the mix: Blake Pontchartrain reminds us of our city's unique history each week; Rex Duke remains the world's first and foremost Mardi Gras parade critic; and before every Jazz Fest, Count Basin previews the acts for Fest-goers. (Note to Gambit trivia fans: Blake and Rex are cousins, but we're sworn to secrecy as to who's the eldest.)
Five years ago, as we celebrated our 25th anniversary, we also noted the city's daunting task of recovery. We looked forward to returning "home" to our Mid-City offices and found inspiration in the passion with which so many returning New Orleanians fought to save their neighborhoods along with our city's culture. That fight continues, as does our commitment to help preserve and celebrate all things uniquely New Orleans. Today more than ever, we are filled with hope for a city that will always be one of the world's great treasures. We're proud and grateful to be a part of it. As we turn 30 years young, our passion for New Orleans burns as brightly as ever.
Chairman and Political Editor