A Letter to Readers


| September/October 2002


Dear Readers,

Get ready! We have some big surprises in store for you. With the November/December issue, we will be unveiling a new design for the magazine. And you'll find a substantially improved Web site (www.utne.com) beginning November 1. You'll still recognize us as a familiar friend, but we hope you'll also be inspired by our evolution.

We are also now busy creating our first-ever newsstand special, The Utne Field Guide to Arts & Culture: The Best of What's Happening 2003, which appears at a bookstore or magazine rack near you on November 26. A timely look at the most promising and important currents in American life, this is a bonus on top of the six issues we normally publish each year. If you're a subscriber, you won't receive it in your mailbox as part of your subscription, so please buy a copy on the newsstand or order one directly from us (look for the ad in upcoming issues). We see so many significant shifts under way in our culture today-creative breakthroughs in the fields of movies, music, books, design, performance, and other arts
-that we wanted to capture all the excitement in one special edition of the magazine. It will provide a great end-of-the-year overview of what's happening (and perhaps some holiday gift ideas too).

Some years ago, poet Gary Snyder called Utne Reader 'the Swiss army knife of periodicals.' Ever since, I've held on to that phrase as the ideal of what we should aspire to be-a useful, elegant, and indispensable tool helping you lead an inspired and adventurous life. The Swiss army knife has become my personal metaphor in all that we are doing right now, which is essentially relaunching the company: How can we best deliver the information and ideas that are most essential for these times? How do we do that with a design that is friendly and navigable, both in the magazine and on the Web? How can we make sure, in our fervor to fit in as many ideas as possible, to also give you something that is beautiful and makes you laugh? And how can we best be of service in inspiring people to talk to each other about what they care about?

As part of our Web site redesign, we asked readers and Web site users to fill out a survey. The message that came through loudest and clearest is that we are all longing to be inspired to put our values and our passions into action. We intend to serve that longing in everything we do-and you'll see the fruits of our efforts in a couple of months.
Thanks for accompanying us on the journey.

Nina Utne
and everyone at Utne Reader