Eric Ginsburg awarded a bottle of whiskey to a raffle winner (above).
By Mary McLean, Staff Writer
Published in print Sept.3, 2014
On Wednesday night, Scuppernong Bookstore was transformed into the bustling hub of Greensboro’s journalistic, artistic and alternative community.
People of all ages, shapes and sizes milled through the independent bookstore, drinking wine and craft beer, leafing through books and discussing the six-month old alternative newspaper that has been circulating around the triad.
Triad-City-Beat, the brainchild of Brian Clarey, Eric Ginsburg, Jordan Green, and others, was launched in February of this year within the Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem area.
”We just wanted to do something genuine,” said Brian Clarey, Editor in Chief of the paper. Their goal of independent, unbiased, and intelligent journalism, with a special focus on sustainability and creativity within the community, has begun to gain traction. According to Clarey, the physical distribution of the paper reaches 20,000 copies, while the website has received 5,000 to 7,000 unique visitors.
Along with the celebration, the staff of Triad-City-Beat were raising awareness and funding for their Kickstarter campaign.
“We’re a really small, employee owned business and can’t do everything on our own,” explained Clarey. “We weren’t sure if there was a demand for this sort of thing and it has just been so gratifying to see that people appreciate our work.” Along with asking for Kickstarter donations, the paper raised money by raffling off items including gift cards, whiskey and a Home license plate.
All the donations and proceeds will be going towards expanding Triad-City-Beat’s coverage and distribution. The editorial staff is looking to purchase more newspaper boxes in Greensboro and High Point. They also want to establish an investigative journalism fund for hard hitting, but difficult and time consuming reporting. The paper has already raised $3,020, and is looking for $6,980 more to be donated in the next 24 days.
The donors behind this campaign are as diverse and unique as the readers of the paper. City councilwoman Nancy Hoffman attended the party, as did Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan. Young blood came out to support too, including UNCG students like Iman Bannout. A 5th year senior, Bannout has connections to the paper through her friend who works as an intern with Triad-City-Beat.
“I’m just out here to support my friends and community,” said Bannout. Even those who couldn’t make a monetary contribution supported the cause in different ways. The paper’s art director Jorge Maturino and his daughter recorded a parody of the pop song “Cups,” but with the lyrics changed to reference Triad-City-Beat and it’s editorial staff.
Triad-City-Beat also partnered with other Greensboro organizations to host the event. Scuppernong books hosted, while Elsewhere museum offered free posters sporting a zebra reading a copy of the local paper and promoted their upcoming events.
An increase to the paper’s cultural coverage is another of the fundraiser goals, which would mean more detailed articles on events such as Elsewhere’s dinner parties and exhibitions.
Towards the end of the night, as Clarey travelled through the store attempting to reach the outside for a quick smoke and a breather, he could barely walk five feet without one of the many guests greeting him, hugging him or congratulating him.
When he finally did make it into the open air, the scene became a little more peaceful, with the haze of cigarettes, a soulful saxophone solo in the distance and the chatter of the store filtering outside.
“There are a million stories going on in this block, right this minute. We are just trying to pick the best ones to cover,” said Clarey thoughtfully. “We want people to know and trust us as an unbiased source of news.”
And as people continued to filter in and out, there was a sense of community among the citizens of Greensboro who had banded together to support the local business.