When I read a New York Times article about the arrival of a brand new magazine about Brooklyn, I was intrigued. I went to the website of this new mag, where the project got introduced like this:
"Welcome to Brooklyn Bound—a new take on the city magazine for the new American city. And not just any American city, but Brooklyn, New York, a community on the cutting edge of music, food, technology, fashion, art, culture and more. This is where New York lives, the heart and soul of the city young and old, steeped in tradition yet forever facing forward."
After getting my hands on a copy, I wanted to know how and why this new magazine was launched, so decided to interview its Founding Editor, Benjamin Meadows-Ingram. Check out the following Q & A.
Q: What was the impetus for starting Brooklyn Bound?
A: Over the course of my career, I've had the opportunity to collaborate with some amazing media professionals. These people are writers, editors, photographers, illustrators, and designers ,all working across all platforms and doing amazing work across the board. Through the years, we've worked together on a variety of projects and for a variety of outlets, often national in reach. But as time has gone on, it felt like one arena we really hadn't had the opportunity to tackle was the local market, which in New York is no small arena, obviously. So that felt like an exciting challenge. And then when you look at the history of New York-centric media outlets, especially those that are lead by or identified by their magazine property, it felt like it might be time for a new voice in the conversation. It's been years, if not decades, since a strong voice developed to participate in and possibly drive and shift the conversation about the city and the community. So there's been an opportunity to take a different look at today's New York and to present information in a new way, to give the new New York and certainly today's Brooklyn a brand and a forum to call its own. And that's what we've set out to achieve with Brooklyn Bound, a new voice for the new city that is being built and shaped around us everyday.
Q: Who is your target audience?
A: We like to think that anyone who lives in Brooklyn certainly is. Also, anyone in the greater New York area and beyond who has an interest in how the city works and where it's headed is an ideal reader/user base for the Brooklyn Bound brand. But we do know that our sweet spot is a New York reader who's say 18 to 44. As a new brand, we're obviously a young on. In addition, our contributors fall mostly in this cohort, and I think it's pretty safe to say that our voice and our sensibility reflects that.
Q: You are currently involved in leadership positions with two other publications - Billboard and Respect. How do you find time to lead the efforts in a third publication?
A: Ha! Well, I'm not going to say that it's not a challenge, because it is, but I believe in the missions of all three brands and I'm grateful to have the opportunity to work with such amazing and talented people at all three outlets. All three projects are ones that I truly believe in and am challenged and inspired by on a daily basis, so even as the juggling can get quite intense at times, I consider myself lucky to be faced with having to find my way through it all. As they say, in this instance, any issue I might face while working on three magazines is a good problem.
Q: What are your personal favorite past times when you're not working on the three magazines?
A: I really enjoy making art and a year ago or so I spent three semesters in a SVA continuing ed figure drawing class that I really enjoyed. Still, I've struggled recently to find as much time to devote to art. I like biking and I swim for exercise on as regular of a basis as I can maintain. I spend as much time as possible seeing live music, which is both a personal and professional interest, and every visit to an art museum or gallery is a treat (as well as an opportunity to think that I should make a point of going more often). I love food and enjoy exploring the city's restaurants and cooking at home as much as possible. And, honestly, meeting new people who are passionate about their projects and working to make a difference and build something meaningful and especially innovative in their field - almost no matter the arena - is always great.
Q: What kind of picture of Brooklyn do you hope your readers will take away from Brooklyn Bound?
A: Our biggest goal is to create a sense of connection and engagement. To bring everyone into a conversation that is filled with the voices of the community, puts faces and names to those voices, and helps us all realize that this city is ours and that we're all a part of it and play an important role in shaping the way it is and what it will continue to be. There are real challenges facing the city and this community and real opportunities as well. We hope we can bring those challenges and opportunities to light and help to push the conversation forward about what the city of today and tomorrow can and will be.
Q: Any plans for creating outlets, online or otherwise, for dialogue with your readers?
A: Certainly. The magazine is just one piece of the brand we are building. The issue we published in June - Issue 00 - was a greeting card, so to speak, announcing the arrival of our brand and offering a glimpse into the kind of brand we're working to build and the types of conversations we're interested in having and planning to host. As time goes on, we anticipate developing several products that reflect and expand upon this sensibility, from digital properties to more tangible products and events. We're excited about the opportunities we've already identified and we look forward to opening this conversation beyond the print product and building from there.